The Art Project, as you may recall, was an attempt to extend the work that is Lars Vilks’ Modoggies. It was conceived by Conservative Swede and inspired by Every Kinda People and the Rondellhundar themselves.
According to Mr. Vilks, “Mohammed as a Rondellhund” is more than just a drawing; it’s an interaction between the artist and the viewer. It’s the work combined with the audience’s responses, and in that sense anybody who reacts becomes part of the work of art. Lars Vilks, the Modoggie, the nervous censors of the Swedish art establishment, the enraged Muslims, you and I — we’re all part of the Art Project.
And now Mr. Vilks himself is considering extending the Art Project into new media. According to the AP:
Lars Vilks, 61, told The Associated Press he might use the uproar over his drawings as the subject of a musical, with prominent roles depicting Iran’s president, Sweden’s prime minister and al-Qaida terrorists.
“The Muhammad cartoon project must be made into an art work,” said Vilks, breaking away for an interview during a business seminar in Klippan, a small town in southern Sweden. “A musical comes to mind … I think it would help the debate.”
The eccentric sculptor said previously that the cartoons weren’t meant to insult Islam but rather to test the boundaries of artistic freedom.
Mad Jad and Fredrik Reinfeldt capering across the stage! I can’t wait to see it.
And don’t forget Ol’ Mo — assuming an actor willing to brave the fatwas can be found, a dancing and crooning dogsbody Prophet will be the major draw of the show!
The threats of violence are also part of the Art Project, but the artist doesn’t let them control it:
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He purports to be unfazed by death threats over his caricatures, which rekindled the Muslim anger but not the violence that swept the world last year in fiery protests over a Danish newspaper’s publication of cartoons of Muhammad.
“Personally I’m not afraid,” Vilks said, although he admitted he starts his day by looking for bombs underneath his car. On the advice of Sweden’s security police, he now lives in a secret location under police protection.
“I think they are trying to frighten people. That’s their aim,” he said of the $100,000 bounty placed on his head by al-Qaida in Iraq. “Al-Qaida is far away, but it could be some sort of challenge for the extremists we have here.”
It seems that Mr. Vilks was expecting to épater les bourgeois, but not quite so far afield as eventually occurred:
Vilks said his drawings were meant to provoke, but only the Swedish art community, which refused to display the cartoons for security reasons. But the project took on a larger dimension Aug. 19 when a Swedish newspaper printed one of the cartoons, showing Muhammad’s head on a dog’s body in an editorial defending freedom of expression.
One would think the Motoon affair would have given him ample warning of what was to come.
Vilks said Muslims living in the West will have to get used to disrespectful drawings of their religious symbols, “because here in the West we mock everything.”
“I think also the Muslims will understand that this is the system we have and it’s not really against Muslims, it’s just the principle of being able to insult religions,” he added.
This system of free expression, the one which allows the insulting of religions, is the one that the crowd in Karlskrona demonstrated against yesterday.
It’s the system they are ready to overthrow.
For previous posts on Lars Vilks and the Roundabout Dogs, see the Modoggie Archives.