Artists Try to Ban Israelis

The Venice Biennale is one of the world’s biggest art shows. The show has a national focus:

Held since 1895 and considered the world’s top art event, the Venice Biennale, which starts in April, gives nations the chance to show off their best artists at national pavilions.

That is the hook for pro-mass muder artists to try to boot Israel out:

A petition to kick Israel out of the Venice Biennale art show because of the war in Gaza signed by more than 16,000 artists, curators and academics has been angrily dismissed as “shameful” by Italy’s arts minister.

More to come from the culture minister, a Giorgia Meloni appointee.

Signed by art world luminaries including Jesse Darling, the British Turner prize winner, the petition claims: “The Biennale is platforming a genocidal apartheid state. No death in Venice. No business as usual.”

“Platforming” is a sinister term that generally means failing to discriminate against. Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano pushed back:

The petition drew a furious response from Gennaro Sangiuliano, the Italian culture minister, who lambasted what he described as “a diktat from those who think they are the custodians of the truth, and who with anger and hatred try to threaten the freedom of thought and creative expression in a democratic nation like Italy”. He added: “The Biennale will always be a space of freedom, meeting and dialogue rather than censorship and intolerance. Culture is a bridge between people and nations, not a wall of division.”

Israel is to be represented at the Biennale by Ruth Patir, who is plenty far left by any normal standard. But that doesn’t cut any ice with anti-Semites.

This flap is a reminder that art isn’t what it used to be. As noted above, Britain’s Jesse Darling is apparently the most notable of the artists trying to ban Israel. Here he is with some of his art works:

Which prompts the question: is there a connection between bad art and bad politics? Mr. Darling is, on this question, a data point.

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