Artist: Mounir Fatmi
Date of Action: October 2012
Location: Toulouse, France
Confronting Bodies: “Printemps de Septembre” art festival in Toulouse, Muslim Youth in Toulouse
Description of Artwork: "Technologia" is a light installation designed for outdoor projection at the “Printemps de Septembre” art festival in Toulouse. The projected image depicts Koran verses in Arabic script inscribed in interlocking circles.
The Incident: On October 4th, 2012, "Technologia" was prematurely projected onto a pedestrian footbridge. The artist had intended to set up barriers before the work was projected, since treading on Koran verses is considered blasphemous by Muslims.
Local Muslim youth responded quickly to the projection and gathered to prevent pedestrians from crossing the footbridge. One woman was slapped for stepping on the work. Police arrived to mediate the scene, and the projection was switched off.
Results of Incident: Police met with the artist and organizers of the “Printemps de Septembre” art festival. Fatmi willingly withdrew his work from the festival.
As a result of this incident, the Arab World Institute in Paris preemptively censored Fatmi's piece "Sleep," which had been scheduled to appear in Paris.