Sunday, September 16, 2018

The cross is usually invisible

A review of the Ladonian flag, sold by Amazon.

This is the flag of “Ladonia” or “Ladonien”, a fictitious micro-nation in Sweden revolving around the personal ego and artistic pursuits of none other than Lars Vilks, provocateur and avant-garde artiste extraordinaire. Vilks is mostly known for his anti-Muslim caricatures, which has created constant problems for Swedish liberals. On the one hand, they defend free speech, including modern art. On the other hand, they are anti-racists. Vilks himself probably doesn't give a damn. In fact, he created trouble long before “Rondellhunden” poisoned his relations with the Muslim community.

Vilks has constructed several bizarre “works of art” in the nature preserve of Kullaberg in southern Sweden, which has led to a decades-long conflict with the local authorities, who want them gone. For some reason, only “Omphalos” has been removed, while “Nimis” and “Arx” are still standing. They are probably too popular as tourist attractions to be destroyed or removed. I remember hating on the ugly sculpture “Nimis” already as a child!

To promote his artwork, Vilks has declared the independence of the coastal strip where the sculptures are situated, appointed himself “state under-secretary” of the faux nation of Ladonia, and declared war against Sweden and San Marino (according to urban legend, the really existing mini-state of San Marino in Italy has been formally at war with Sweden since the 17th century due to a slight diplomatic oversight). Weirdly, Ladonien is both a monarchy and a republic simultaneously. It's “government” includes the Ministry of Undisclosable Purpose and the Office of Nothingness, and one of the ministers has the flashy title Minister of Unnumbered Things. About 17,000 people from all over the world has “citizenship” in the faux nation.

Even the Ladonian flag is peculiar. It's a green banner with a Nordic cross, but “the cross is usually invisible”, so the flag is often depicted as all-green without a cross! I suppose Vilks didn't know at the time that green is also the color of Islam, and that an all-green flag was used by Gaddafi's Libya. Whether or not the cross disappears on a semi-regular basis from the exemplar shown here, I can't tell you, and I have to admit that modern art isn't really my thing…

Only two stars for this annoying, annoying, ANNOYING gadfly!

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