Artist Invites Internet Fans To Give Him Electric Shocks

A shocking look at the freedom of choice. Is this art or a masochist’s ego-trip? From RT:

A self-exiled Russian artist is inviting online users to give him electric shocks, sparking fresh outrage from religious groups, who claim he is pitting art against God.

­Artist Oleg Mavromatti has just been hit by an electric jolt. This happens every time one hundred people on the Internet vote for him to receive a massive electric shock. Anyone can vote. Oleg will do this every night for a week – or until he is hospitalized.

This is a test of how society interprets freedom. Do they want to use it to save or kill? This says a lot about our society,” Oleg says.

Mavromattisays his electric shock treatment is symbolic of what he calls the oppression of artists.

Specifically, censorship of art by vocal religious minorities.

Ten years ago, he shot a radical film in which he was authentically crucified. “I am not the Son of God.” said an inscription on his back. A prominent Orthodox Christian youth organization in Russia sued him for inciting religious hatred.

Mavromatti did not wait for the court decision, he fled. He is now living in exile in Bulgaria.

Video and more at RT

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  • Haystack

    This sounds familiar. Remember fish in a blender?

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/goldfish-in-blenders-cause-outrage-724729.html

    Okay, so this time it’s a publicity whore in an electric chair.

    Doing deliberately provocative things in order to generate discussion about censorship and freedom is not the same as being an artist. If it were, they’d be teaching Howard Stern in MFA programs. It’s a cheap way to get people to pay attention to you, and it undercuts the good stuff. Good art often becomes controversial because it expresses a revolutionary idea; it does not seek controversy simply for the sake of doing so. “If you provoke people, they’ll try to silence you” is not a particularly powerful artistic statement.

    Supposedly, if people shock him into the hospital, he will expose the hypocrisy of those who, given a choice, would use it to constrain the choices of others. You know, like how he made those religious people turn him into a Christ-martyr by disrespected their god. But if people vote to shock him, are they really making a hypocritical effort to suppress his speech, or merely accepting an invitation to express their opinion of his art?

    I know how I’ll be voting. *g*

  • Haystack

    This sounds familiar. Remember fish in a blender?

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/goldfish-in-blenders-cause-outrage-724729.html

    Okay, so this time it’s a publicity whore in an electric chair.

    Doing deliberately provocative things in order to generate discussion about censorship and freedom is not the same as being an artist. If it were, they’d be teaching Howard Stern in MFA programs. It’s a cheap way to get people to pay attention to you, and it undercuts the good stuff. Good art often becomes controversial because it expresses a revolutionary idea; it does not seek controversy simply for the sake of doing so. “If you provoke people, they’ll try to silence you” is not a particularly powerful artistic statement.

    Supposedly, if people shock him into the hospital, he will expose the hypocrisy of those who, given a choice, would use it to constrain the choices of others. You know, like how he made those religious people turn him into a Christ-martyr by disrespected their god. But if people vote to shock him, are they really making a hypocritical effort to suppress his speech, or merely accepting an invitation to express their opinion of his art?

    I know how I’ll be voting. *g*

  • Ironaddict06

    I don’t see how this is pitting art against God? I’d say it’s more stupidity vs. egotism. I’ll get 100 of my facebook friends, so we can shock him until he say “uncle”.
    It’s getting old to see “artist” mock Christianity, Jews, etc.
    If these artist such as Mavromatti really wants to fight oppression of artists go to Saudi, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and other Muslim majority countries, and mock Muhammad. Heck go to the Netherlands.
    Now lets see if these “artist” have the balls to do this.

  • Ironaddict06

    I don’t see how this is pitting art against God? I’d say it’s more stupidity vs. egotism. I’ll get 100 of my facebook friends, so we can shock him until he say “uncle”.
    It’s getting old to see “artist” mock Christianity, Jews, etc.
    If these artist such as Mavromatti really wants to fight oppression of artists go to Saudi, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and other Muslim majority countries, and mock Muhammad. Heck go to the Netherlands.
    Now lets see if these “artist” have the balls to do this.

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