Poor Lonesome Lisa, The Stupid Sad Slut

Date: 2002

Region: Europe

Subject: Nudity

Medium: Photography

Artist: Mat Vaassen (b.1963)

Confronting Bodies: anonymous person (audience), the police and the public prosecutor

Date of Action: 2002

Location: Kunsthaus Essen, Essen, Germany

Description of Artwork: Three posters size ca. 20 x 30 cm. each (small "versions" of larger posters that exist in 3 x 4 m size). The poster that was proclaimed to be pornographic shows a woman who cuts her wrists and fucks a dog. The text on the poster says: Poor Lonesome Lisa, The Stupid Sad Slut. She slashed her wrists and fucked her dog Bobby one last time. The other two posters: 1 A woman shitting on a child's grave (And then mummy became The Crazy Bitch That Shits On Her Daughter's Grave) about a tragic woman who has lost her 5 year old daughter)); 2 A sad woman sitting under a rope from which bloodfilled tampons are dangling, chewing on a used tampon (When Chicken Brain Francine Menstruates, She Chews On Her Used Tampons, like the neighbourhood boys often forced her to do while they masturbated, spat on her and called her a fucking idiot.)

The Incident: Three posters were shown in the anniversary exhibition of the Kunsthaus Essen. An anonymous person wrote a protest letter to the Kunsthaus, to the police, the public prosecutor, the sponsors, the mayor and the press about these works and a work by Ilona Plattner. The public prosecuter proclaimed the poster of the woman with the dog to be pornographic. All other works were acceptable for German law and order.

Results of Incident: Kunsthaus Essen had to remove the one so-called pornographic poster by order of the public prosecutor. Otherwise they were guilty of showing pornography in a public place. Kunsthaus Essen decided to remove also the other three artworks by the two artists and show them only to people who asked to see them. All works were banned from the auction at the end of the show.

Source: Personal story.