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Monday, April 28, 2008

Lice for Art's Sake

Seven German artists in an Israeli museum have willingly contracted lice and intend to live with the parasites for the duration of the installment.

While they denied any association to Nazism (as in Jews being viewed as "parasites"), they acknowledged the some might make this assumption. In fact, the artists took proposals from around the world and turned to The Bible and other sources for inspiration before deciding on the lice.

The idea is to examine the relation between host and parasite. As one participant put it, "The idea is that we live in the museum as their guests, and at the same time we are hosting lice on our heads."

The Museum of Bat Yam near Tel Aviv has hosted several avant-garde displays these past years. One, entitled Sleeper, had the artist dressed as a bear, roaming the museum. The film won the Turner Prize.

© C Harris Lynn, 2008

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