What Austria Doesn’t Want You To See

By
December 29, 2005

As is being widely reported but so far not widely shown, (also see here for MSM reports) the Austrian government spent $1.2 million to fund controversial artwork. But the MSM isn’t telling the whole story just yet. I was able to navigate to a, for now, hard to access site with a pdf file of all the posters and take screen captures of some images, more than three of which might be of at least some interest to Americans – including one which arguably desecrates the American flag. See below text and fold for thumbnails – click them to enlarge.

Spoof posters depicting the Queen having sex with the U.S. and French presidents and displayed across Vienna are causing embarrassment just days ahead of Austria’s taking over the EU presidency.

The images showed two naked female models wearing masks of President George W. Bush and the Queen, and a male model with a President Jacques Chirac mask, positioned as if they were having sex.

Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel appealed to the artists to withdraw the images, according to a spokeswoman quoted by the APA news agency.

Part of a series called "euroPART" and created by artists from all 25 member countries of the European Union, the posters were meant to "reflect on the different social, historical and political developements in Europe", said art project 25peaces, which commissioned the posters.

25peaces received 1 million euros ($1.2 million) of funding from the Austrian government for the works.

But the project, 150 images only three of which had sexual overtones, caused uproar in the media and among politicians.

The tabloid Kronen-Zeitung, read by half of Austria’s population, called for immediate removal of the "porno posters" from 400 billboards in prominent places across the city.

Click thumbs to enlarge:

American_flag

Leaders_1

Emp_on_off

Cross_swastika

Leaders_2

War_is_teror

Cap_superforce

Mecca_cola

This last image may be the least work safe as a result of better clarity. It’s also arguably going to be judged the best of the lot by some. Though I’ve evaluated them purely on artistic merit, I can assure you. ; )

Image1_2



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Comments:
  1. Tim Worstall says:

    The Queen’s Menage A Trois.

    This is obviously all over the papers today. Austria has launched its presidency of the European Union by unveiling posters of naked figures wearing masks resembling the Queen, Jacques Chirac and George W. Bush. The Reuters report gives the URL

  2. Dean's World says:

    Attacking America

    Dan Riehl notes that the Austrian government has funded some anti-American art–and he’s got some photos.
    To be honest, whi…

  3. Tim Worstall says:

    The Queen’s Menage A Trois.

    This is obviously all over the papers today. Austria has launched its presidency of the European Union by unveiling posters of naked figures wearing masks resembling the Queen, Jacques Chirac and George W. Bush. The Reuters report gives the URL

  4. Patriot says:

    If Austria doesn’t want you to see it, why are these posters all over Vienna? And if this can be classified as “anti-American art” (it can be construed as anti-British or anti-French too), so what? Freedom of expression, ever heard of that? Politicians are public figures, they can expect a little flak. Especially GWB in Europe, where he is about as popular as the bubonic plague.
    And don’t be so paranoid about “desecrating the American flag”. It’s the symbol of an ever less popular country, I’d be more worried about the diminishing US influence abroad than about the so-called desecration of a flag.
    If these posters were published in the US (with foreign politicians depicted), I’d bet the only complaints would be about the “obscenity”. Nobody would care about how the politicians were depicted. Hell, 99% of the US population probably wouldn’t even recognize a foreign politician (with the possible exception of Tony Blair).
    It’s just a few oversubsidized artists displaying their political feelings. About the US, about the EU and about capitalism. All covered by the freedom of expression laws, no need to get upset. There are more pressing problems in the world than GWB being lampooned once again.

  5. SallyVee says:

    My, we’ve come a loooong way since “the hills were alive” with Edelweiss and Nazi-fighting Euro-patriots.
    And these geniuses take leadership of the EEEEE-WWWWWW in a week?
    To me the most telling image is the fully clothed “Empire On, Empire Off” black & white duo. Indicative of Euro’s extreme envy, total failure, and another pointless, lame, juvenile attempt to deny the obvious and flail at the best friend they ever had. Emphasis on past tense.
    Semi-good news though — the images do seem to be causing outrage and embarrassment. But I don’t know if that’s because they got caught (hard not to get caught with the images plastered all over Europe), or because the majority of ordinary Euros are genuinely horrified. Also, I wonder if Ahnuld the Guvinator will have a comment… looks like he “divorced” his homeland just in time!

  6. Scape-Goat Trainee says:

    “If Austria doesn’t want you to see it, why are these posters all over Vienna? And if this can be classified as “anti-American art” (it can be construed as anti-British or anti-French too), so what? Freedom of expression, ever heard of that? Politicians are public figures, they can expect a little flak. Especially GWB in Europe, where he is about as popular as the bubonic plague.”
    No one is questioning their right of “Freedom of Expression”. Of course they have the right to look like idiots. Left-wing protesters do it all the time. What’s great about this is the part where they say the reason for the art is “to, reflect on the different social, historical and political developments in Europe”. And then the art just obsesses on the US. Makes you kinda think that Europe has become such a joke these days that there’s really nothing worth creating any art about.
    “And don’t be so paranoid about “desecrating the American flag”. It’s the symbol of an ever less popular country, I’d be more worried about the diminishing US influence abroad than about the so-called desecration of a flag.”
    Obviously you have no problem with it. Yeah, that’s a surprise.
    “If these posters were published in the US (with foreign politicians depicted), I’d bet the only complaints would be about the “obscenity”. Nobody would care about how the politicians were depicted. Hell, 99% of the US population probably wouldn’t even recognize a foreign politician (with the possible exception of Tony Blair).”
    Right we’re all idiots. Hardly worth the time of day. Right “patriot”?

  7. Tim Worstall says:

    I still think the funniest part is the way ABC led their story on this. They took it from AP and it says “Aussies Pull Art Depicting Queen, Leaders” with a subheadline “Embarrassed Australians Pull Art Project Depicting Queen, Blair, Bush Engaged in a Sexual Act”.
    Austria, Australia, what’s the difference?

  8. iquitos says:

    the free world leader sex is allegorical and without taste but some of the stuff is quite insightful. thnaks for putting that up dan

  9. Please- none of this would be taken seriously had the Austrian government not brought attention to it. They wanted the images to be seen.
    Once more, Austria camoflauges it’s real intentions.
    Austrian schoolbooks portray that country as ‘the first victim of Nazism.’
    Anschluss? What Anschluss?

  10. I don’t know art, but I know what doesn’t like me

    Dan Riehl alerted us to some America-bating Austrian art, just as that country becomes head of the EU. Dean’s World shrugs it off as “same-old, same-old”, which is pretty much our take as well. Tim Worstall notes that ABC can’t tell the difference betw…

  11. Daniela says:

    WOW … Wow, I always thought I take criticisms very, very well… but reading all of those comments, which are not a lot, just gets my heart boiling and I see that I guess I am wrong, I don’t take criticism well at all! I am from Austria and all I want to do is defend my country and try to “make you understand”… isn’t that strange? I could go on for hours and go into detail, trying to explain it’s actions and why I am so proud that my country is taking leadership of the EU, but instead I have to respect “freedom of speech” and let it go.
    I for one think those images are art and nothing to be ashamed of and I am not angry about people not understanding the history of this wonderful jewel in the middle of Europe I call my home!
    Happy holidays everybody!

  12. Daniela says:

    Austrian schoolbooks portray that country as ‘the first victim of Nazism.’
    Anschluss? What Anschluss?
    Posted by: sigmund, carl and alfred | Dec 29, 2005 12:00:18
    If you learn about Nazis and what happened, then you will see that in fact they were “the first victim”
    In regards to Anschluss – it can mean access der Anschluss
    accession [econ.] der Anschluss
    adapter also: adaptor der Anschluss
    affiliation [econ.] der Anschluss
    alignment der Anschluss
    annexation der Anschluss
    attachment der Anschluss
    communications der Anschluss
    connection – pipe [tech.] der Anschluss – Leitung
    connectionAE der Anschluss – Reise
    connectionAE [elec.] [engin.] [tech.] der Anschluss
    connectionBE also: connexionBE der Anschluss – Reise
    connectionBE also: connexionBE [elec.] [engin.] [tech.] der Anschluss
    connector [constr.] [tech.] der Anschluss
    contact der Anschluss
    continuity
    All that… depending how you use it…! :)

  13. Michelle says:

    Patriot.
    “There are more pressing problems in the world than GWB being lampooned once again.”
    I agree….but as usual the EU isn’t capable of addressing the problems. Iran being one of the most important problems at the moment.

  14. Patriot says:

    I agree….but as usual the EU isn’t capable of addressing the problems. Iran being one of the most important problems at the moment.
    Posted by: Michelle | Dec 29, 2005 2:42:50 PM
    And the solution to that idiot in Iran is…..? What? Nuke them before they do something? Attack them before they have nuclear weapons? Look where that got the US in Iraq. And Iran is a lot bigger, with a lot larger population.
    The Iranian president’s comments (moronic as they were) were meant for internal consumption. He knows that he will never have the capability to “wipe Israel off the map” because as soon as he gets anywhere near a nuclear weapon, Israel will bomb that facility flat. Just like the Osiris reactor in Iraq. Worst case: US cruise missiles will do the job.
    He has nothing to gain by alienating the non-Arab world. Since he doesn’t have a lot of economic good news to bring his people, he gives them anti-Israel rhetoric. Always good for his poll ratings (if they have such a thing in Iran). So I don’t think we should take that idiot as seriously as everyone seems to. He was talking to his own people, making political “promises” like any politician, and like any politician he will not be able to follow through. Luckily, in this case.
    By the way, the US response to Iran has been exactly the same as the European one so far, so are you implying that the US is not capable of addressing that problem either?

  15. FloridaPatty says:

    If you learn about Nazis and what happened, then you will see that in fact they were “the first victim”
    ……………….
    So that makes everything else understandable and okay?
    …………………………….
    I’m an artist and frankly I’m disappointed in this “art”. It looks amatuerish although I liked the berka flag. It was thought provoking.
    The other stuff looks like glorified porn.

  16. Yeah, the first Austrian victims raised the border gates and millions lined up to throw flowers at the incoming Germans.
    Then they voted for an filled the Parliament with Nazis and Nazi sympathizers.
    You know, like all the other victims of Hitler.

  17. shonane says:

    I doubt most of the public in Austria is pleased with several of these pictures, especially the spoof with the queen in a sex position, and I don’t even know anyone from there. I would imagine that many of their citizens are appalled. Perhaps someone who dislikes Austria and is jealous of their EU presidency role managed to get this stuff in. People cannot exhibit all matter of tasteless pictorials and have other who actually have some definition of decency and dignity agree with them that it is art.

  18. Hobo says:

    I think the intention is to convey the message of the three being ‘in bed with each other'; distasteful depiction, but my thoughts remind me of the cliche` …”in the eyes of the beholder.”

  19. Daniela says:

    So that makes everything else understandable and okay?
    …………………………….
    I’m an artist and frankly I’m disappointed in this “art”. It looks amatuerish although I liked the berka flag. It was thought provoking.
    The other stuff looks like glorified porn.
    Posted by: FloridaPatty | Dec 29, 2005 10:42:30 PM
    FloridaPatty … I never said everything else is okay and I never would! Dont you just hate when words are put in you mouth!?

  20. Daniela says:

    Yeah, the first Austrian victims raised the border gates and millions lined up to throw flowers at the incoming Germans.
    Then they voted for an filled the Parliament with Nazis and Nazi sympathizers.
    You know, like all the other victims of Hitler.
    Posted by: sigmund, carl and alfred | Dec 29, 2005 11:44:46 PM
    BLA BLA BLA BLA!!!! You are so quick to point your finger! You were not there and obviously you know nothing! Just what you have been fed and never had an open mind to actually look and see what really happened! PISSES ME OFF!!! I am 100% Austrian, it doesnt get more pure then me, my parents or my grandparents! My grandfather fought and as a result of his insuries from the war, my grandmother was hiding her children in a subfloor, little boys and girls ages 2 – 6 so they wouldnt be raped or taken away because we had a set of twins in my family, my grandmother’s sister died in a camp because she didnt have a picture of hitler anywhere in her house on diplay and you have the never to make a stupid remark like the one you made, acting as if AUSTRIANS asked for this…
    Why dont you do your homework first! This really gets me going… yes there were hundrets and thousands of jews who suffered and lost their families and loved ones, but believe you me, it wasnt exactly a party for the rest of the people living there either. :(

  21. Daniela says:

    Sorry… obviously I should have read before I posted, but I was to fired up… I meant to say my grandfather died as a result of his insuries…

  22. caribou says:

    I’m greatly confused….
    billboards in Austria depict acts of Bush, the Queen (not Tony), and Chirac….as bedfellows?
    From my humblest perspective, they got it ALL wrong. Why Chirac? Average U.S. sentiment (typically representing the lowest common denominator) is that the French are cheese-eating surrender monkeys and we’re supposed to hate them.
    And why wasn’t Bush sticking it to someone, isn’t he considered the raper of nations? I mean, Chirac is the “giver” in all this? Just strange.
    Sigmund, I don’t understand this banter. The Iranian leader is not harmless as he seems, but I do agreewith Patriot that he is limited in capability.
    As for the Austrians, if research serves correctly, most Jewish farmers and settlers were “removed” and “Good German Stock” was settled in their place. This could explain the warm welcome and parliamentary process. To say the Austrians simply rolled over and acquiesced to Nazism is a far cry from the truth.
    While earnestly attempting to only convey information and insight, I must insist you dig a little deeper in research. Your myopic view is quite disconcerting.

  23. 奧地利的歐盟藝術

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  24. Re: Madame’s Fauxtoe flagellated in Flag/Index Trite!

    Heer eez ze same fauxtoe in ze Lane
    http://dingleberrylane.tribe.net/photos/

  25. Fab says:

    For the record.
    The American Flag piece is a creation of an American artist living in Ireland.