Banana art is the latest casualty in the war on art and culture in Poland

It's 2019, and 12 color photographs of a woman eating a banana have been deemed too suggestive to be displayed in Poland's National Museum in Warsaw. 

Eliza Archer
Eliza Archer NewsMavens, Europe
Banana art is the latest casualty in the war on art and culture in Poland - NewsMavens
Banana protest, Twitter

Why this story matters:

The National Museum in Warsaw, under the guidance of the new museum chief Jerzy Miziolek, is currently reshuffling its exhibitions and removing selected pieces.

Miziolek stated that he was “opposed to showing works that could irritate vulnerable young people”. He had recently visited the ministry of culture, which has prompted many to speculate that it was the influence of Poland’s right-wing government that led to certain pieces being removed.

Included in the cull is Natalia LL’s 1973 video titled “Consumer Art”, as it was deemed too suggestive. The piece showed a woman eating a banana in 12 colour photographs. An additional two artworks by female artists were also due to be removed.

After the protests, Jerzy Miziolek made an official statement announcing that the controversial works of art would return to the gallery until May 6, after which the entire modern art section would be re-designed.

Details from the story:

  • The move has prompted backlash on social media, with Poles posting “#bananaselfie”’s in support of the artwork.
  • They have also planned a mass protest outside the museum, where everyone will eat banana.
  • The piece has been featured in the museum since the 1970s.
  • Art and culture have been constant topics of discussion since the elections of Poland’s government last year.
  • Miziolek has denied pressure from the ministry. 
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