‘Madonna and Child’ at The Premises

UPDATE:  Friday April 8th 2011

The Police* are now investigating the death and arson threats we’ve been receiving in the last few days from so-called MJ fans enraged by the sculpture currently on show at The Premises. (*enraged Sting fans please note, we mean the Met police.)

‘Madonna and Child’ by Los Angeles based artist Maria von Kohler, is displayed in a high window at The Premises.

Michael Jackson fan sites around the world have been orchestrating a campaign against the sculpture. Although the artwork depicts a real event, with no additional comment, they see it as an attack on the late singer.

Viv Broughton, Chief Executive of The Premises, said “So far we haven’t been taking the threats very seriously but a few of them have become quite specific. The level of abuse has been extraordinary so we’re taking a few precautionary measures just to be on the safe side.”

Amongst the blizzard of misinformed blog comments (see below) is the suggestion that big money is somehow behind it. If only. For the record, the artist wasn’t paid and the work is not being offered for sale. It is not a commercial venture. Perhaps we should also say that quite obviously, the comments below are not to be taken as reflecting our own opinions. So try and be nice you lot, or we’ll set Mrs Watkins the studio cat on you.

UPDATE:

WE RESPOND TO HATE MAIL AND DEATH THREATS:

March 6th 2011

‘Madonna and Child’, the sculpture currently on display at The Premises Studios in east London, has generated a large volume of complaints after it was featured on several Michael Jackson ‘fan-sites’.

Maria von Köhler, the artist who created the work, has issued the following statement in response:

“Personally I am pretty surprised at the overwhelming amount of negative reactions from the Michael Jackson fan base. I am referring specifically to the presumption by many that the piece was created as a negative, judgmental or ‘jokey’ commentary on Michael Jackson and his personal or professional life. This is not the case at all. In fact it is a representation of an actual incident as portrayed by the media, which was inevitably fuelled by a wide public of fans as well as critics of the star. The piece investigates the nature of the relationship between someone of unparalleled iconic status, the media and the public; the frenzy that subsequently ensued.”

Viv Broughton, Premises CEO, has added this statement:

“How can a work of art that is faithful to a real event be construed as an attack on anyone? ‘Madonna and Child’ is as much about extreme fan worship as it is about Michael Jackson. By their fanatical devotion the fans made him into a sort of deity and inevitably he in turn began to behave like one. The sculpture depicts a moment of high drama. It’s certainly not meant to ridicule but neither is it a homage. It works on several levels, like a religious tableaux.”

30.3.11

As regular visitors here may have already noticed, there is a new sculpture suspended twenty feet up on the side of our building. Intriguingly, it’s called Madonna and Child and it’s been installed in our office window. Swedish-born sculptor Maria von Köhler spent six months, first modelling it in clay then, from a plaster mould, it was cast in polyester resin and finished in acrylic and wax.

Various Jackson ‘fan-sites’ are orchestrating a hate campaign against us (see blog comments below) thus illustrating the point that the sculpture is really about fan worship, about treating a singer like a deity.

Maria von Köhler has exhibited widely since she graduated with an MA from the Royal Academy Schools, Royal Academy of Arts in London in 2003. Her work is housed in collections worldwide, including The Zabludowicz Collection and The David Roberts Art Foundation, London. Von Köhler has held solo exhibitions at Seventeen, IMT and The Kiosk Project, London, as well as Seeline Gallery, Los Angeles and Galerie Lieser, Berlin. Other exhibition highlights include: When We Build Let Us Think We Build Forever, BALTIC, Gateshead; Larry’s Cocktails, Gagosian Gallery, London; National Geographic, Faggionato Fine Art, London; RightOn/Write Off, Chapman Fine Arts, London; Fresh, MOCA, Los Angeles; Selected Sculpture, Max Wigram Gallery, London.

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476 Responses to “‘Madonna and Child’ at The Premises”

  1. Steve says:

    Veritas,

    Sorry but you’ve baffled me with this post. Nobody here is taking a dosage, unless Angie said she was (I wouldn’t know as I only read the first and last lines of her ramblings) so how can they reduce it? The truth of his innocence – immortal..?? Can’t deny he’s guilty of plastic surgery addiction and drug addiction. Or are you denying that? It wouldn’t surprise me considering the deluded world that the paedo’s fans live in. I note that you don’t have any comments on the violence threatened against the artist who did this work of art. A really classy lot you guys are! I’ve seen claims that the paedo was full on with his message of peace and love. Hardly compatible with violence and arson attacks is it? Or is that your definition of peace and love?

    Personal abuse from you guys is water off a duck’s back, but amaze me and comment about the issue at hand here if you’re capable of a coherent thought.

  2. Veritas says:

    Looks like its just you and me Steve. No-one else cares. Ying and yang. Innocent, guilty.

    Sod this, wanna share a rolo?

  3. Steve says:

    Not worried about innocent and guilty, I was just having some fun. But the real issue is the hypocrisy of the jackson cultists. Peace and love or violent attacks and arson threats against an artist? I’ll leave you to think about it for a while, just going to the airport for another break in the sun. No internet, no newspapers, just the sun and beach. Maybe you’ve got a relevant comment?

  4. Veritas says:

    Sure.

    I have time as I am on vacation already and where I go, the web goes.

    The real issue for me is not this spurious story about alleged arson. I don’t believe there was ever a serious threat and certainly nothing that the “artist” and the premises didn’t cultivate.

    For me the reason why Kohler made this piece in the first place and the reaction to it are directly related to the legal challenges Jackson faced — the details of which are very complicated and span many years.

    I should point at the outset though, that I was concerned to read one of your earlier comments which seemed to describe someone who has plastic surgery as ” guilty” of doing so.

    People aren’t “guilty” of having surgery. They either do it or they don’t.

    In much the same way, someone isn’t “guilty” of molesting someone simply because they share a bed.

    These are important distinctions and should be recognized as such. I would also prefer it — if you wish to engage civilly with me that is — if you could resist the need to generalize millions of people you’ve never met and call them “cultiist” on the basis of whatever experience you may or may not have had with a small amount of people.

    It isn’t logical.

    In my opinion, the allegations of attempted arson were completely false and interestingly no police reports resulted. I think Viv and this so-called artist created this story to get attention, which IMO, is reprehensible.

    Personally speaking, I certainly wouldn’t support vandalism, even of something I view as in itself unworthy of the moniker “art” — so if you’re basing your opinion of Jackson or his fans/supporters etc, on the basis of these spurious allegations — I suggest you’re doing so because you want to. In which case, there is very little I could say that will change your preconceptions.

    Take your time before you answer. A genuine communication would be appreciated.

  5. Steve says:

    Veritie,

    Just a few points: this sculpture isn’t art in your opinion. Fair enough, but I think you’d better read the blog again if you failed to see the threats made against the artist and the gallery. Maybe the artist and gallery made these threats against themselves, but from the tone and language, I prefer to think it was the jacko whackos that made them. I don’t think the artist and gallery did this just to generate some interest. That’s just preposterous. Let’s agree to disagree on that one.

    As for these whackos… I think calling them a cult is pretty fair game. From dictionary.com have a look at these definitions:

    cult
    noun.
    2.
    an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing,especially as manifested by a body of admirers: thephysical fitness cult.
    3.
    the object of such devotion.
    4.
    a group or sect bound together by veneration of the samething, person, ideal, etc.

    So, great veneration of a person, manifested by a body of admirers…. etc. I think the attitude and activities of the whackos give them the status of a cult.

    Not sure of my exact words, but I’m sure that I’ve said a few time that he was guilty of having ‘an addiction to plastic surgery’. Of course for many procedures plastic surgery is vital. But by effectively changing himself from a black man to a white woman, that does display some serious issues regarding his self-image. So plastic surgery isn’t simply a question of they do or they don’t, its a little more complex than that, especially as there are people that glorify all of jackson’s lifestyle to their kids and grandchildren. Not a good role model.

    So you think that a 40+ year old man sleeping with young boys isn’t a bad thing. Let’s just agree to disagree with that one. Apart from a few jacko whackos, I’d think that not far from 100% of the adult non-paedophile population would say otherwise. Not good for a mature man to sleep with young boys. I think we’ll never agree on that one, so don’t bother with any excuses, I’m afraid they just won’t wash.

    Finally, you’ve no condemnation of the threats of violence and arson against an artist. You don’t like the artist, so she’s fair game. If someone can’t condemn threats like this, you’re not even worth talking too. Now Angie, she was funny, you’re just wasting my time. So, unless you’ve got anything constructive to say, bye Veritie.

  6. Veritas says:

    Sadly, this response demonstrates one very clear fact:

    You don’t have to be in a ‘cult’ be mentally imprisoned.

    Time to grow up kid.

  7. Veritas says:

    Oh one more thing before I get back to my real job … copying out a encyclopaedic extract to answer a civil question?

    Just poor.

  8. Steve says:

    Veritie,
    What is poor is your failure to answer the question about threats to the artist, the whole point of this blog. Very poor indeed. I’ll just assume that you approve unless you want say otherwise.

  9. You know what? This is cool and finally read it. Is this a Html? Is it quite easy to make your own?

  10. Veritas says:

    It’s VERITAS Stevie-boy. Quite simply really.

    Stick to looting dear. Your type are good at that.

  11. Steve says:

    Veritie, For someone who deliberately misspells other peoples’ names, its a bit hypocritical to call me out don’t you think? Or maybe you don’t think, just make assumptions that people who don’t agree with you go out looting. I’m still waiting any condemnation of the arson threats against this artist. If you approve of them, maybe it was you out there looting with the rest of the scumbags?

  12. Veritas says:

    Still a douche then.

    Sorry Stevie boy. I gave you the opportunity to debate intelligently a few comments back. You ducked it. Therefore you will treated like the ingrate you clearly are.

    Mind how you go kid.

  13. Just Bookmarked this website page, and I will come back for more articles.

  14. Steve says:

    Veritie,

    Very classy comment, pretty typical of the jacko cultists on this forum.. I think you’re the one ducking out, pretty pathetic that you’re still avoiding the question about threats to the artist. Unless you say otherwise, I’ll just assume that you approve.

    While you’re pondering that, maybe you consider this: “Abusive ad hominem (also called personal abuse or personal attacks) usually involves insulting or belittling one’s opponent in order to invalidate their argument, but can also involve pointing out factual but apparent character flaws or actions that are irrelevant to the opponent’s argument. This tactic is logically fallacious because insults and negative facts about the opponent’s personal character have nothing to do with the logical merits of the opponent’s arguments or assertions.” Starting off calling someone a douche really doesn’t strengthen your argument, so unless you can debate intelligently and without recourse to personal insults, you’re on my ignore list. Better things to do with someone as humourless as you. As I said before, Angie may have been a bit obsessive, but she did provide a laugh.

    Btw, I you should check the meaning of the word ingrate.

  15. Veritas says:

    Sorry for late reply Stevie, I forgot all about you. Again, your comment serves only to remind why education is so very important. The paucity of yours is indeed shocking. To think, to discern, to be able to understand you have been sold a lie and asked to bend over while buying it — is essential for you now.

    Ingrate, fits you perfectly Stevie. No doubt you’ve exploited everything this country has handed you, yet, you remain stubbornly ignorant of anything that doesn’t reflect you visually or culturally — preferring instead to reiterate subtextually racist, uninformed, easily digestible propaganda.

    What’s sad though, is that you think you know the scoop.

    You don’t.

  16. Steve says:

    Veritie,

    Oh dear, oh dear. Epic fail. Come back Angie, all is forgiven. Your assumptions about me are pretty crass, and wrong. Some advice, Just because you’ve looked up a few words in the dictionary don’t make them true every time you type them in a blog.

    I’m afraid I can’t waste time with losers with no class like you Vertie. This blog is dead for me now. It was a bit of fun, but you can’t even comment on the subject of the blog, i.e. threats to the studio or the artist for displaying a work of art. If you prefer to worship ‘old baldie’, as the autopsy staff called him after taking off his wig, then knock yourself out. I’ll leave the last word to you, no doubt ignoring the big question.

    Veritas: The truth, I hardly think so in your case. You really are a pompous git with a blogname like that. Byee, and hope you have fun tossing off to the paedo’s old tunes.

  17. Verum says:

    Funny thing, those threats. I went a few rounds with Viv about the statue, to which I got pathetically written responses, and she told me that a list of all the threats was going to be sent out. That was the end of May. Three months later, no email. Odd, isn’t it? Perhaps all of these terrible, terrible threats did not exist in the first place? If so, that’s just sick. Making out Michael’s fans to be crazy, wild, and idiots does nothing more than further the discrimination. Yes, discrimination. Do any of any other star’s fans get the level of abuse that we do? No. Well here’s the thing, Elvis, The Beatles, any and all of the major artists of any day and age all had/have huge followings. Are they called religious nutters, wackos, or cults? Again, the answer is no. Stop making us out to be lesser human beings by the basis of our music tastes. It’s getting quite old.

  18. Veritas says:

    Yes. It is funny. Absolutely no follow up by the police and as soon as the Premises received their share of publicity, nothing further mention. The whole thing was a ruse. There were no threats. Just a greedy studio owner and a mercenary so-called artist.

    Some homework for you Steve. You cannot embed links here so all you have to do is put http:// at the start.

    vindicatemj.wordpress.com/2011/04/20/history-vs-evanstory-the-1993-allegations-part-1/

    Do the research. Then we’ll talk.

  19. J says:

    You call this art ? My dog puked up better “art” than this statue today.

  20. Angie in Ireland says:

    @Steve, the Michael Jackson Obsessive…

    Oh, look… I’ve been away for a while, come back, and guess who is STILL on here and now arguing with others …Yep! It’s the classic Anti-Michael Jackson obsessive …Steve!!

    Time to grow up and get a life Mr!! Does it not bother you – keeping Michael Jackson in your life in some way or another? That is exactly what you are doing. Even many of Michael’s fans wouldn’t be here as often as you.

    If you must persist in constantly returning for your MJ fix… stop asking the same ole’ hypothetical BS of a question to everyone that doesn’t agree with you and your kind – and instead, ANSWER the questions that were put to YOU, some months back.

    You haven’t been able to do that, not just because you are a self-righteous, ignorant, MJ-obsessive-twat, but also because you actually haven’t got a clue about the BS you spew. NO evidence – NO attempt at unbiased research and certainly NO evidence of any threats to anyone…just your usual self-righteous assumptions and opinions…born of an underlying bias – (and perhaps even racism) – toward Michael Jackson.

    I am asking you AGAIN…put forth some evidence /or a least evidence of some thorough, unbiased research …or just STFU obsessing OVER and WITH Michael Jackson and his fans / admirers.

    Pathetic being!!

  21. Veritas says:

    Don’t bother Angie. The level of ignorance ‘Steve’ labours under is not easily overcome.

    Pity, is the word that springs to mind.

  22. I really love Madonna…Playing her music while working at least once a day.! Still in great shape and producing hit after hit.

  23. Combson says:

    Nice blog, I really link your style of writing..!

  24. Linguim says:

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