Yesterday I commented the recently sabotaged lecture given by Swedish I-attract-radical-muslims-like-flies-on honey-provocateur Lars Vilks on Swedish national radio. My main thesis is that Vilks has to be accountable for his actions and indirect consequences they might occasion. Not because he is attacking muslim symbols like Mohammed, but because he is pursuing his little artistic, investigative crusade with quite stark means: He is consciously provoking idiot crowds of so-called muslims and doing it without any real explanation of how and when he is going to reach out to these people.
The end result is a blunt illustration of a post colonial truism – yes there are differences in cultures, democracies and politics, and yes, some people hate jews, homosexuals, muslim veils, social democrats and Christians. But the hard problem is not to illustrate that they exist, but to reach out to the different groups and individuals in order to facilitate dialogue and open conversations. Because, believe me, conversations can be held with most people. This is what Vilks is missing, and in the process, quite possibly helping the burgeoning extremists of the far far right in Sweden to spread their medieval message. As much as I support contemporary art I cannot support that.