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Libertas, Dei te Servent!

Author: Zhou Tiehai 2003

Libertas, Dei te Servent!

Not forgetting is like a tumor
Once the heart keeps thinking about something,
The freedom is gone.
To remember makes tumor.  

You can never say that you are free.
So why be angry when you are not free

Happiness, it is your happiness,
Suffering, it is your pain.
Live, it is your life,
Die, it is your death

Liberty, May the Gods Protect You!

the work "Libertas, Dei te Servent!"shown at American Effect, Whitney museum, NY, 2003

Some Quotes from the US press:

NY Times (Subject is US, Object is Art, by Grace Glueck, 3 Jul 2003)
... But the show's tone is set by an ironic portrait of New York City's 9/11 hero and former mayor, Rudolph W. Giuliani. Done by a Chinese artist, Zhou Tiehai, it is titled "Libertas, Dei Te Serventi" (2002). Mr. Zhou uses the glowing Soviet Social Realist style that glorified leaders like Lenin and Stalin.

Beneath his portrait the artist has painted two balls of elephant dung, a comment on Mr. Giuliani's attempts in 1999 to suppress a show at the Brooklyn Museum in which the artist Chris Ofili attached worshipful offerings of elephant dung to a painting of a black Madonna....

(in )

Washington Times (Inside Politics by Greg Pierce, July 3. 2003)
Art critic?

An art dispute has come back to haunt former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who is the subject of a new portrait showing him posing with two balls of elephant dung.

The work by Shanghai-born artist Zhou Tiehai, which features a lofty image of Mr. Giuliani against a backdrop of the New York skyline and flanked by the elephant droppings, is included in a show that opened yesterday at the Whitney Museum in Manhattan.

The exhibition is called "The American Effect" and features different takes on the United States by a variety of foreign artists.

Mr. Zhou's portrait of the man who became known as "America's mayor" in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks refers to a public row Mr. Giuliani had with the Brooklyn Museum of Art in 1999 when he was in office.

Mr. Giuliani had slammed an exhibit at the museum titled "Sensation" that featured a portrait of the Virgin Mary smeared with elephant dung and decorated with pornographic clippings, demanding that the publicly funded museum cancel the exhibit. He then embarked on what proved to be a futile attempt to have the museum ousted from the city-owned building it has occupied since the 19th century.

Asked to respond to Mr. Zhou's portrait, Mr. Giuliani insisted yesterday that he was unqualified to comment.

"I really am not an art critic," he told reporters after a meeting with Secretary of State Colin L. Powell in Washington.

"If it was an opera, I would be able to comment on it, but works of art I am not an expert on," Mr. Giuliani said. "And I haven't seen it, so I don't know what it is."...

(in )

scoop (Powell With The Giuliani, Foxman and Rep.Smith):
SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you. A question or two?
QUESTION: A question for Mayor Giuliani.
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary -- do you want to ask about this subject?
QUESTION: Yes. Mayor Giuliani, you said moments ago that anti-Semitism is rising in some European countries. Can you explain why you think this is?
And secondly, there is a new artwork at the Whitney Museum, on a different note -- wanted to get your comments on that -- lampooning you, apparently.

MR. GIULIANI: Well, I'm really not an art critic. If it was an opera, I'd be able to comment on it. But works of art I'm not -- I'm not an expert on. And I haven't seen it so I don't know what it is...( )

Report: Exhibit Features Giuliani Portrait With Elephant Dung

(New York-WABC,  July 3, 2003) - Controversy is brewing over an art exhibit featuring a picture of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and its not likely the former mayor will find this portrait flattering.

Related Artists:
Related Exhibitions:
The American Effect


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