CHRIS THURMAN: Art minus politics? It doesn’t exist
Trying to separate aesthetic objects from their political context is a fool’s errand
In a previous column I wrote about the statue of the Little Mermaid in anticipation of a visit to Copenhagen. It appears that I annoyed some readers by “politicising” what should apparently be a safely apolitical work of art. I aim to please, so on arrival in Denmark I set about visiting other sites of public art in the capital city with the aim of finding one that has nothing to do with politics.
A very different female subject to Hans Christian Andersen’s nameless mermaid is the winged figure that stands atop the Maritime Monument just around the corner — a version of the Nike of Samothrace presiding over scenes of destruction and mayhem, with reliefs depicting the circumstances under which 648 Danish seamen lost their lives during World War 1.