December 30, 2005


Outrage as porn posters of the Queen 'promote' EU presidency (Roger Boyes, The London Times, December 30th, 2005)

Pornographic posters showing naked figures wearing masks portraying the Queen, President Chirac and President Bush have created fierce controversy in Austria on the eve of the country taking over the EU presidency from Britain.

The posters, which went on display this week in Vienna, were financed by a €1 million (£680,000) grant from the Austrian Government. It had hoped that a series of pictures by artists from all member states would reflect the social and political diversity of the EU. Instead, the work has provoked an unseemly row.

The posters are mounted on rotating boards and are visible for only seconds at a time — but that is long enough for most passers-by to identify the three figures. The George Bush figure is a woman model using the appropriate mask. She is seen bending over, with the Queen and President Chirac kneeling behind her. The Queen can be seen clutching the hips of the George Bush character.

“Absolutely outrageous!” the tabloid Krone Zeitung declared. “This will overshadow the beginning of our EU presidency.”

The posters are part of an artistic project known as Europ-art that is intended to stir interest in the European Union. Austria now ranks as one of the most sceptical EU partners and its Government has been struggling to find ways of engaging the interest of young people in European issues. The group sex scene was created by Carlos Aires, a 31-year-old Spanish artist.

The second poster by Tanja Ostojic, a Balkan artist, is causing even more anger. It shows a woman’s spread thighs wearing blue knickers embroidered with the stars of Europe. [...]

“The EU knickers are depraved and sexist and can only damage the European idea,” Gabi Burgstaller, governor of the Salzburg region, said.

We yield to no one in our prudish condemnation of pornography, but we do understand why the artists couldn’t think up anything better.

Posted by Peter Burnet at December 30, 2005 6:08 AM

Interesting that they're not bothered by the pornography because it's pornographic, but because it "will overshadow the beginning of our EU presidency" and "damage the European idea."

Posted by: Mike Morley at December 30, 2005 6:20 AM

Interesting how they call it "art", too. It is many things, but "art" is not one of them.

Another interesting word is "grant", which sounds better than "hundreds of thousands of dollars earned by the sweat of Austrian working men and women--taken and thrown down a rat-hole." While the rest of the world tries to build a better mouse-trap, the EU elites are struggling desperately to build a better rat-hole.

However, it is altogether fitting that porn would be used to promote another obscenity.

Posted by: Noel at December 30, 2005 8:01 AM