whistleblowers and whistle in bronze, on tour
May 1, 2015 8:55 AM   Subscribe

"Italian artist immortalizes Snowden, Assange and Manning with a statue honoring their courage in Berlin's Alexanderplatz." Anything to Say is now on tour. More pictures in this Berliner Zeitung article.
posted by wonton endangerment (28 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Maybe a little more respect for Manning, yeah?
posted by Thing at 9:02 AM on May 1, 2015 [7 favorites]


I like the idea and making it interactive, but yeah, weird that they didn't think to respect Manning's gender while honoring her.
posted by postcommunism at 9:14 AM on May 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Agreed. Absolutely shitty thing to do to Manning. Ruins the whole thing.
posted by evilangela at 9:15 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


As much as I admire what Wikileaks accomplished in the past Assange isn't exactly exemplifying courage lately. I'm not sure he really deserves a statue. Like with sculpting Manning as a male figure though, I think the artist is memorializing the acts in the moment more than the people, which seems like a flaw. Manning appeared to the outside world to be a man in that moment but it's not how he should be memorialized. I'm glad the artist has done something to urge more people to respect what these three did to reveal the truth, those actions were definitely heroic, but the execution does seem a bit off.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:25 AM on May 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


We make statues out of politicians, sports figures, warmongers and warriors, money worship, and pretty faces who hit the genetic lottery and have good looks and model well. But humanity doesn't have a whole lot of art that celebrates real heroes who risk their lives to make ours better. More like this, please.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 9:34 AM on May 1, 2015 [3 favorites]




Amen, Thing. Even fairly conservative news organs have gotten on board with using the correct name and pronouns for her, the Berliner Zeitung calls her Chelsea Manning in its article, hell, even the US Army courts are using female pronouns for her now, but the project's website calls her "Bradley Chelsea Manning" and "he." Some weird transphobic point is being made here.
posted by ostro at 9:39 AM on May 1, 2015 [7 favorites]


Ooh, I like this artwork.
posted by Pronoiac at 9:45 AM on May 1, 2015


But humanity doesn't have a whole lot of art that celebrates real heroes who risk their lives to make ours better.
a lungful of dragon

I guess it depends on what you mean by this. There are a whole lot of statues of Jesus and Buddha, for instance, probably more than of any other people combined, and they are (ostensibly) all about peace and love.
posted by Sangermaine at 9:59 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


As much as I admire what Wikileaks accomplished in the past Assange isn't exactly exemplifying courage lately. I'm not sure he really deserves a statue. Like with sculpting Manning as a male figure though, I think the artist is memorializing the acts in the moment more than the people

If they are memorializing the acts in the moment, then what Assange is exemplifying lately should be of no more consequence than Manning's depicted gender.

It was my initial impression too, that he was depicting Chelsea Manning before she was Chelsea, but ostro's observation about the project's website makes me wonder if I should have given him the benefit of the doubt in the first place.
posted by Hoopo at 10:00 AM on May 1, 2015


I guess if you are doing a statue of a general in a famous moment you can show him on a horse with his sword in the air and pointing forward or whatever. It's harder to make copying data look as heroic without getting abstract.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:03 AM on May 1, 2015


Pretty sure Chelsea Manning wasn't passively standing on a chair when she was copying that data (nor posing in front of a flag for a mugshot, as she is depicted on the website for the work), so it's hardly a 'capturing the moment' sort of thing, it's just straight-up transphobic bullshit.
posted by Dysk at 10:10 AM on May 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


put them on horses with a data stick in the air pointing forward?
posted by Hoopo at 10:10 AM on May 1, 2015


Manning appeared to the outside world to be a man in that moment but it's not how he should be memorialized.

She. Sorry.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:13 AM on May 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Not sure how standing up is too abstract for public consumption, but hey, whatevs!
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:13 AM on May 1, 2015


I should really say that I like the idea, as the today's world needs today's heroes. The taking-part aspect is also pretty neat as it encourages us to think about what our own actions are or would be in their circumstances.
posted by Thing at 10:16 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Not sure how standing up is too abstract for public consumption, but hey, whatevs!

It's not too abstract, but it does rather put paid to the excuse that Chelsea Manning is depicted as male because it's meant to be a capture of the moment of the act for which she is famous.
posted by Dysk at 10:17 AM on May 1, 2015


To be clear, I wasn't aiming for excuse, just trying to figure out what the artist was even thinking. This is not how Chelsea Manning should be depicted.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:28 AM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


humanity doesn't have a whole lot of art that celebrates real heroes who risk their lives to make ours better.

"Greater love hath no man than to jump in front of a meteor."
posted by octobersurprise at 11:09 AM on May 1, 2015


just trying to figure out what the artist was even thinking
- Drinkie Die

You could ask him on Twitter @AnythingtoSay_
posted by wonton endangerment at 11:47 AM on May 1, 2015


I emailed them, with a link here and a question about the depiction of Manning.
posted by Pronoiac at 11:50 AM on May 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


I wonder how many cameras will be in range of the monuments.
posted by clavdivs at 12:57 PM on May 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


This is interesting stuff folks, where's the discussion. Has the artist gotten back, I have German media contact (not really, really) the no camera zone art project, the Ellseberg lounge and visitor center. Marcus Wolf dunk tank. A reproduction of Antony Blunts study and a statue made of wood.

Jaundicy, sure. But I have no beef with Chelsea. Julian ehhhh?, Snowdon? Not sure. But hey.
posted by clavdivs at 5:46 AM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Because Julian's head isn't big enough yet.
posted by scalefree at 9:57 AM on May 2, 2015


I got a response!
At the time of the creation of the sculpture we did not have a reliable portrait of Chelsea Manning so we had no choice but to depict her as she was when she got arrested.
If you have an actual portrait it would be great so that we can include it in future shows of the monument to courage.
Cheers from the team.
posted by Pronoiac at 10:12 AM on May 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


That sounds like an ass-covering excuse - why is she still referred to as 'Bradley Chelsea Manning' and 'he' consistently on their website?It just doesn't jibe with their 'well unfortunately we were forced into this position' statement. Because they didn't actually put any thought into how to be respectful of Chelsea Manning at all.
posted by Dysk at 6:07 AM on May 6, 2015


Dysk, do you have an actual portrait of Chelsea to offer them? I think they're honestly interested.
posted by Pronoiac at 8:26 AM on May 6, 2015


I do not, and if I did I would not be sending it to people attempting to "honour" her with deadnaming and misgendering.
posted by Dysk at 3:12 AM on May 7, 2015


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