THERESE BLANCHARD – BASEL – 2021
There is a controversy over a painting by the artist Balthus. Two young women asked the Metropolitan Museum of Art to remove Thérèse Dreaming (1938). Not one of his pictures of a naked adolescent girl, but a painting of the fully dressed Thérèse Blanchard. Yes, you can see her underwear, but is that enough to arouse the viewer? The question here is: was Balthus a pedophile and are pedophiles allowed to visualize their sexual orientation?
Or does this painting represent the kind of sexualized power abuse we try so hard to get rid of? Was that the reason someone decided to throw out his Balthus painting?
JOSEPH STALIN – BASEL – 2021
Was Stalin a great leader or a mass murderer? Opinions differ. Some say that the ultimate goal of calling him a monster is to discredit communism, that what is written in history books is mainly Cold War propaganda. Others claim that he murdered his rivals and terrorized his own people, sending millions to labour camps, and that his failed agricultural policies caused mass starvation. At the same time he is admired for winning World War II, industrializing a backward country and improving the living conditions of millions. But is there ever a good reason to hang a portrait of a head of state in your living room?

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