The Louvre is Removing a Sculpture of Two Houses Having Sex

I don’t know why someone makes a 40-foot tall sculpture of a house banging another house from behind, but Dutch art collective Atelier Van Lieshout did, and the Louvre was going to display it. Apparently, someone got cold feet in advance of the sculpture’s scheduled October 19th debut in the Louvre’s Tuileries Gardens.

The sculpture, called “Domestikator,” was deemed sexually explicit and withdrawn from exhibition, according to the New York Times, who also spoke to Joep van Lieshout about the sculpture being withdrawn.

“This is something that should not happen,” Joep van Lieshout, the collective’s founder, said in a telephone interview. “A museum should be an open place for communication. The task of the museum and the press is to explain the work.”

“The piece itself, it’s not really very explicit,” Mr. van Lieshout added. “It’s a very abstracted shape. There are no genitals; it’s pretty innocent.”

He is right, most houses don’t have genitals. At least none of the ones I’ve lived in. And even if they did have genitals, I’ll bet they’d be all blocky and weird looking.

The London-based gallery Carpenters Workshop, which represents Atelier Van Lieshout, said in a statement that the Louvre’s decision was “very damaging for the artists and the Fiac program,” adding, “The artwork symbolizes the power of humanity over the world and its hypocritical approach to nature.”

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, Carpenters Workshop. I’m on your side here, a museum is absolutely a place that shouldn’t be afraid to push boundaries or shock people, but this is a house plowing another house from behind. Probably in the back door. How am I just now making a back door joke in a story about two houses having sex?

The French publication Le Monde reported that the Louvre’s director, Jean-Luc Martinez, sent a letter to Fiac raising concerns about the piece.

“Online commentaries point out this work has a brutal aspect,” Mr. Martinez said in the letter. “It risks being misunderstood by visitors to the gardens.”

Well, okay, it’s official, we can’t have nice things anymore. If “online commentaries” are going to be the bar, there’s someone on Tumblr who is offended by everything. And if not Tumblr, whatever the right wing equivalent of Tumblr is. Sinnr? Racst? Probably one of those.

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