Are the dead capable of ‘producing art’?
Maybe, if you ‘make them’ do it. Morten Viskum did, and he did it inside a church. No, he is not a mwdium with psychic abilities or any such thing, he is a Norwegian artist.
During the Red Zone Festival held in a church in Oslo, Viskum used the hand of a dead African immigrant (who had moved to Norway as a child) to paint an African landscape the way the dead man would have dreamed of it. This is not the first time that Viskum used a dead hand to ‘perform’ art. He did it before in Venice.
Four questions immediately come to one’s mind:
1. Why is this art?
2. Where did he get the hand from and why is this legal?
3. Apart from the legality of it, is it ethical?
4. Who told him that what he painted would match the dead man’s imagination?
I can live with the first question, and yes, it is art (as irritating as this might sound), but the last three questions have been disturbing me ever I read about it. I can make my peace with the last question too, but still. With Morten Viskum, just like with Hirst of Emin, controversy is assured. I wonder how Marshall McLuhan would relate to this (he is the one who coined the phrase ‘The medium is the message’).