The Vampirization of the Louvre

The Louvre, in its effort to be in tune with the times, has on view an exhibit of works by Belgian "artist" and stage director, Jan Fabre, who makes his fortune on scatophilia and exhibitionism, and whose contempt for quality has earned him praise from audiences and politicians alike.

A critique of the current exhibit entitled The Vampirization of the Louvre, by Professor Jean-Louis Harouel of the University of Paris, appeared in Le Figaro on April 15. Here are excerpts:

What is inadequately termed "contemporary art" has been gaining ground since 2004 against the masterpieces in the Louvre. Last year, around the tomb of Philippe Pot, a marvel of 15th century sculpture, they appended rows of fakes, as in an old-fashioned hardware store. Today, the center of the huge room (photo) where the life of Marie de Médicis by Rubens is displayed, has become a chaotic pile of tombstones like the backyard of a negligent stone-cutter. [...]
As a general rule, so-called contemporary art is nothing but an imposture. [...] The eternal repetition of what used to be the provocations of empty art or of anti-art no longer shocks anybody and procures fortune and prestige. It's the academicism of our times. [...]

But why this mania to bring this farce into classical museums, and in particular the Louvre? For despite its colossal commercial success, despite the media's drum-beating, despite the support of uncultivated billionaires imagining themselves to be art lovers and the approval of all the triumphant dupes who sing its praises, the more lucid adherents of so-called contemporary art know perfectly well that it suffers from a total absence of artistic legitimacy. Now, the theory that postulates equality, that seeks to create a supposed dialogue between on the one hand authentic masterpieces of the past, and on the other the present-day impostures, permits the latter to be extolled as having high artistic value. Contemporary art, which is not art, seeks to give itself artistic legitimacy through a forced confrontation with the greatest masterpieces. It vampirizes them in order to affirm itself as true art. The Jan Fabre exhibit in the Louvre adds nothing to Van Eyck, Memling, Rembrandt or Rubens. It does however bring to Jan Fabre the illusion of conversing on an equal footing with them, the illusion, therefore, of being a great artist. [...]


Art shows the values that

Art shows the values that live in the head of the artist in a stylized way. Regardless of his talent, when an artist is a cynical marxist who sees no beauty in mankind or even in himself, he cannot compete with those who do see this beauty. He cannot overclass the art of those whose values he hates; all he can do, is to destroy it through mockery.

This is no surprise, refer to a 1963 reading of Communist goals

A small excerpt from this page: 


Communist Goals (1963)

URL to congressional reading

Congressional Record--Appendix, pp. A34-A35

January 10, 1963

Current Communist Goals



Thursday, January 10, 1963


Mr. HERLONG. Mr. Speaker, Mrs. Patricia Nordman of De Land, Fla.,
is an ardent and articulate opponent of communism, and until recently
published the De Land Courier, which she dedicated to the purpose of
alerting the public to the dangers of communism in America.

At Mrs. Nordman's request, I include in the RECORD, under
unanimous consent, the following "Current Communist Goals," which she
identifies as an excerpt from "The Naked Communist," by Cleon

[From "The Naked Communist," by Cleon Skousen]

Scroll down to  point #22 and #23

22. Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms
of artistic expression. An American Communist cell was told to
"eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings, substitute
shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms."

23. Control art critics and directors of art museums. "Our plan is
to promote ugliness, repulsive, meaningless art."

-- end quote --- 

It is no suprise that politicians and art critics like this drivel.  Look at their policies, perfectly in line with Communist reasoning and thinking.

The other shocking part is how many of these points have already been implemented in the western countries.

politicians subsidizing bogus artists

Vincep's book jacket: " Contrasting the civilization that produced the starkly modernist “cube” of the Great Arch of La Défense in Paris with the civilization that produced the “cathedral” of Notre-Dame..."

A comparison of modernistic architecture with old cathedrals says a lot about our political leadership, but it doesn't say much about normal people. I agree with Harouel who says (in the text above) that "contemporary art" is an imposture. No one apart from the media takes any interest in that sort of thing. Likewise, no one likes modern cubic buildings except journalists and politicians, and I don't think they really think what they say. They are the same people who say immigration is great because it makes us more vibrant.

Cube and the Cathedral

By analogy this reminds me of a 2005 book I read , "Cube and the Cathedral"


This description (I think from the book jacket) explains it well:

Why do Europeans and Americans see the world so differently? Why do Europeans and Americans have such different understandings of democracy and its discontents in the twenty-first century? Contrasting the civilization that produced the starkly modernist “cube” of the Great Arch of La Défense in Paris with the civilization that produced the “cathedral” of Notre-Dame, George Weigel argues that Europe’s embrace of a narrow secularism has led to a crisis of morale that is eroding Europe’s soul and threatening its future—with dire lessons for the rest of the democratic world.Weigel traces the origins of “Europe’s problem” to the atheistic humanism of the nineteenth-century European intellectual life, which set in motion a historical process that produced two world wars, three totalitarian systems, the Gulag, Auschwitz, the Cold War—and, most ominously, the Continent’s de-population, which is worse today than during the Black Death.And yet, many Europeans still insist—most recently, during the debate over a new EU constitution—that only a public square shorn of religiously-informed moral argument is safe for human rights and democracy. Precisely the opposite, Weigel suggests, is true: the people of the “cathedral” can give a compelling account of their commitment to everyone’s freedom; the people of the “cube” cannot.Can there be any true “politics”—any true deliberation about the common good, and any robust defense of freedom—without God? George Weigel makes a powerful case that the answer is “No,” because, in the final analysis, societies are only as great as their spiritual aspirations.