• Germany edition
 
Peeing policewoman artwork pisses off Dresden
Photo: DPA

Peeing policewoman artwork pisses off Dresden

Published: 14 Jan 2011 08:00 GMT+01:00
Updated: 14 Jan 2011 08:00 GMT+01:00

The work entitled "Petra" by 27-year-old sculptor Marcel Walldorf is made of silicone and metal and has pitted public officials against art world aficionados in the debate over what is acceptable in the name of high culture.

It depicts a young female police officer in full riot gear crouching to pee, with exposed buttocks and a small gelatin "puddle" affixed to the floor of the gallery at the Academy of Fine Arts in the capital of Saxony.

The work entitled "Petra" was completed one year ago and has captured a €1,000 ($1,328) prize by the prestigious Leinemann Foundation for fine arts.

"It shows very well the difference between the public sphere and the private sphere," the jury said.

But Saxon Interior Minister Markus Ulbig, who is responsible for the state's security services, told the German press he was "shocked" by the sculpture, which he branded "an insult to police officers."

The GdP police union also blasted the piece, saying it "breached the limits of artistic freedom."

"There have of course been letters of protest, particularly addressed to the artist," a spokeswoman for the Academy of Fine Arts, Andrea Weippert, told news agency AFP.

But she insisted that the public response had been "overwhelmingly positive."

"People who visit the show are not offended," she said.

She said she was surprised by the attention given to the display of "Petra" in Dresden as it had already been featured in smaller shows in the cities of Berlin and Leipzig.

"The artist is exploring a taboo zone. 'Petra' is not a provocation," she said. "It is an observation of society."

AFP/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

09:05 January 14, 2011 by teutonic-knight
This is a disgrace. This should not be considered art. This is a degenerate and a humilating work. Why is the value of women and police brought down. What is the point of this kind of work. Artists should create an art that shows the civilization, beauty, health and strength of society. Art should be beautiful and proud to help people become inspired and work for the good of their community. This work is garbage and just like poison, it can damage our culture. Mothers and police officers are the main hopes of the country. We must protect their value with our hearts.
09:47 January 14, 2011 by Landmine
This artist is a fool. This is not art. Of all the things that she could have done, she chooses this. What an unimaginative artist....
10:13 January 14, 2011 by Carlos Hausner
It could have been a lot worse you know!
10:22 January 14, 2011 by Portnoy
Nah it's brilliant -- as the curator said, it's an excellent illustration of the difference between public and private space. It has special prescience now with the number of protests in Germany and throughout Europe. Exceptional, really.
10:44 January 14, 2011 by bugger
This should be cast in bronze and made into a fountain, obviously.
11:20 January 14, 2011 by freechoice
"AL COPS ARE BASTARDS"

This is what I saw on the S-Bahn station while going to work today!!
11:34 January 14, 2011 by storymann
It is controversial,,and I don't like it...maybe in some circles it is considered a form of art,,,but I think it's obscene.
11:49 January 14, 2011 by Talonx
'Entertete Kunst' eh folks, not much for the history bookas are you storyman, teutonic-knight, and landmine?

Portnoy, you need to find another means of syndication. The reason people like this come to this web site is because the Local posts news concerning prostitutes breast enlargements.

The Local is a joke, it didn't start out that way, but it's a joke now.

Seriously, I respect your columns Portnoy, please find a better publication, there are others.
12:06 January 14, 2011 by storymann
Talonx,,I am sorry but the History bookas falls a little short on me...how ever entertete kunst,,ya if a person dose not think urinating on the street or is eating a sh--t sandwich is art, then they have no appreciation of it....it is their ignorance not the art!! stimmt?
12:08 January 14, 2011 by majura
Art is art. Intrinsically you can't truly define it.

I see a point to this piece and it's not 'damaging our culture'. If you have a different opinion that's fine- but making claims about how it should not be exhibited is more 'damaging' to our society (think along the lines of freedom of expression, opinion and human rights).
14:08 January 14, 2011 by The-ex-pat
12:08 January 14, 2011 by majura

Art is art. Intrinsically you can't truly define it.

A valid point, but the problem is separating pretentious cr*p that has been designed to elicit the reaction that this has got from the the sort of art that you would want in your house or in a public place for ALL ages to view and not shock for the sake of it. In the UK we have a word for this sort of thing.......Turner. Try entering for a Turner prize, it is not difficult at all. May I suggest soiling yourself and then putting your underwear on canvas, throw some blood over it and you are guaranteed a winner!

I don't know who said it, but just because you are sensitive and know one understands you, does not make you an artist!!!
14:39 January 14, 2011 by William Thirteen
here in Berlin no one even noticed - but out there in the Eastern provinces it's got them all riled up!

'Mothers and police officers are the main hopes of the country' - you mean the mothers that are burying their infants in the garage or tossing them out windows and the police officers that are being bought off by the HA? Someone needs to get out of the house more often..
15:11 January 14, 2011 by storymann
art is art ,beauty is in the eye of the beholder ....defined : Art is the process or product of deliberately arranging elements in a way to affect the senses or emotions..I would have to admit this is art,,according to that definition....is it in good taste ,that is debatable .
16:35 January 14, 2011 by coyote3000
I fail to see what the big deal is. If you don't like it, you don't have to look at it, right?

Not surprised that there was an uproar in Dresden though and not in Berlin or Leipzig. Dresden is the city that wants to put a freeway and bridge through a Unesco world heritage site afterall.
18:30 January 14, 2011 by iche
@teutonic-knigh:t you need a good enema :)

And @William Thirteen: very good point
18:36 January 14, 2011 by aldus
Ah, Tonio: "Sei Kunstler oder Bürger..."

Delighted that it didn't raise a ruffle in Berlin...I miss Berlin.

(Extra points if you know the quote.)
18:50 January 14, 2011 by scoobydube
A woman is 'pleasuring' herself (out in the 'open) on a train and now this. What has happened to Germany since I was there in the early 1980's. All we had to worry about were the "RED ARMY FACTION", blowing up U.S. Military Installations or buildings on them. Now THAT was fun. But not this.
19:50 January 14, 2011 by SockRayBlue
So what? A dog takes a leak, a man pees on a tree, so now women don't urinate? Perhaps we can all ignore our bodily functions, Ya? Since women have become part of the workplace and quite equal to men are we to ignore female cops having to GO?
20:55 January 14, 2011 by DinhoPilot
@bugger

"This should be cast in bronze and made into a fountain, obviously."

Exactly!!! I don't see what's all the fuss about. Sincerely I saw more weirdish or obscene bronze fountains statues and no one was complaining about it.
00:08 January 15, 2011 by Logic Guy
Well, I'm a professional artist. And it just so happens that I debated the defintion of art aerlier today.

Picasso once said "We all know that art is not the truth, it's a lie that helps us to realize the truth." As talented as he was, Picasso was unfortuantely short on morality.

This fact is indicative in his paintings and the life he lived.

Art is defined as "An honest attempt to capture the truth."

Therefore, if it isn't based upon morality, then it's simply an expression of a person's immorality.
07:59 January 15, 2011 by hOU
Pretty lame really ...

I'd have her being sodomized by a bull, a Greek bull. And maybe she could be licking the genital fuzz of a large, goggle-eyed American eagle.

I mean c'mon, let's make f@cking art yeah?
14:00 January 15, 2011 by tallady
@ Logic Guy An honest attempt to capture the truth. I think you are mixing up art and photography ,,does not make much sense to me ,,but I am not a professional Artist like yourself,,and you probably are speaking in some form of art jargon,that most of us are not privy to.
18:03 January 15, 2011 by wenddiver
I can't believe we tax people, so we can have spaces to display such pieces. It is harly original, since such work can be scene on the walls of third world truck stops world wide. Apparently all you need to be able to appreciate it is a limited IQ, education, morals, and talent. It's sad people of such limited talent are all that appeals to the currators. How hard is it to dress a dummy and drip silicone???

I am sure it will be popular with teen age boys and the immature.
21:09 January 15, 2011 by Joshontour
Rivals Michelangelo's David.
20:27 January 18, 2011 by Prufrock2010
If this is all they have to worry about in Dresden, I'd say they must be doing just fine. Who effing cares?

@ tallady -- You should know by now that trying to make sense of anything that emanates from Logic Guy is in itself a symptom of insanity. He may be mind-numbingly stupid, but he is a constant source of amusement. I'm waiting breathlessly for his thesis on the "morality of art."
Today's headlines
Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth
Photo: DPA

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth

Germany will get an early Christmas present of around €779 million from the EU, thanks to weaker than expected GDP growth. READ  

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told
Photo: DPA

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told

It will take several days to find out what caused a massive explosion on Thursday which rocked a town on the Rhine, killing a builder and injuring 26 others. READ  

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'
An NH90 helicopter. Photo: DPA

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'

Germany's fleet of NH90 helicopters is undergoing engineering checks after one of them suffered a serious engine failure, in the latest blow to the country's military capabilities. READ  

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m
Rainer Schwarz at a court hearing in September into the case. Photo: DPA

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m

The man who was blamed for Berlin's miserable attempt to build a new airport must be paid more than €1 million - after being fired. READ  

Steinmeier challenges UN over Isis gas reports
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Kurds watching the attack on Kobane. Photo: DPA

Steinmeier challenges UN over Isis gas reports

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier pressed UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon to bring possible poison gas use by Isis in Iraq before the Security Council. READ  

Spring back in German consumers' step?
Photo: DPA

Spring back in German consumers' step?

Update: Consumer confidence in Germany has stopped falling, as households appear to be no longer fazed by concerns about the economic fallout from geopolitical crises, a new poll found on Friday. READ  

Ludwigshafen explosion kills one, injures 26
An eyewitness captured the moment of the explosion on their phone. Photo: DPA

Ludwigshafen explosion kills one, injures 26

UPDATE: One person has died and 26 others are injured after a huge explosion in Ludwigshafen, western Germany on Thursday. READ  

Germany has just ten Ebola beds
Photo: DPA

Germany has just ten Ebola beds

Doctors at high-level infectious disease clinics say that caring for patients with the Ebola virus is much more intensive than they first thought, meaning they can handle fewer cases at once. READ  

Refugee Crisis
Now Berlin turns to tents to house refugees
A refugee protests on the roof of the former Gerhart Hauptmann School in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Now Berlin turns to tents to house refugees

Berlin has turned to huge tents and shipping containers to shelter growing numbers of refugees. With winter approaching, city politicians have called on the federal government for help. READ  

Clueless Merkel forgets the F-word
Merkel suffers from Wortfindungsstörung at the IT summit in Hamburg. Photo: DPA

Clueless Merkel forgets the F-word

Angela Merkel's government is often criticized for its lack of understanding of all things digital and an appearance by the chancellor in Hamburg, which was supposed to change those perceptions, has only made things worse. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: Huge explosion rocks Ludwigshafen
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
Which high school cliche is your German city?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Storm hits southern Germany
Sponsored Article
An international school unlike any other : School on the Rhine
Photo: Fitzpatrick family
Society
'We still don't know what happened to Matthew'
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Special Report: Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: DPA
Politics
UKIP ‘seeks EU pact’ with German satirical party
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,528
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd