ARTIST SAM Mahon has painted a picture of John Key as a corpse and made it part of an interactive game on his website called, “Who killed John Key?”
Mahon, who calls himself a socialist, says he hopes the image “will simply make people curious”. He wants to “put a bunch of ‘Key crtimes’ on to one ring,” he told the Sunday Star Times.
“The painting shows Key’s body slumped against a wall in an alley with a rifled wallet beside him. A half-empty wine bottle, a rat and a half-eaten apple are among the detritus nearby.
Viewers are invited to discover Key’s “killer” by viewing 24 video clues embedded on the picture, most of which are interviews with Key taken from the web. People who guess the killer will be eligible for prizes including a Mahon cast bronze of a dying dove (
“a metaphor for dying hopes”).
Asked if he was worried that people would find the image offensive, Mahon said: “All art is expression and metaphor and the job artists have is to make people feel uncomfortable. Now once you’ve made people uncomfortable you’ve got their attention. And once you’ve got their attention you can begin to change their mind.”
The image will be put on Mahon’s website tomorrow and the names of those who guessed the killer will be posted on election day, Novemberr 26.
Story by Anthony Hubbard (abridged) Sunday Star Times. Page 1, November 13, 2011
Comment: One of the objects of the SPCS is:
“To support responsible freedom of expression which does not injure the public good be degrading, dehumanising or demeaning individuals or classes of people.” (S. 2[f] of SPCS Constitution).
The Society contends that the vast majority of New Zealanders would consider Sam Mahon’s image of our Prime Minister John Key and its use in an “interact game” on his website, as outlined above, highly offensive. It deliberately seeks to degrade, dehumanise and demean John Key over the next few weeks leading up to the elections.