The Krannert Art Museum at the University of Illinois is the latest venue for blasphemous and vulgar art. The exhibition in question, “Dans La Zibeline Du Zob,” consists of ten large wall hangings that depict the interior of three European Cathedrals. What’s hanging from nails in the center of each drawing is the source of our complaint: from eight of the drawings there are red glass vaginas and from two of them there are red glass holy water fonts with crosses on them; three had an additional vagina hanging from nails in what appears to be drawings of side chapels.
Like the offensive art at Penn State, this one was created by a female who claims to be Catholic; unlike the Penn State incident, the offender is not a student at the university. Just as with the Penn State “artist,” this one says her work is a statement about the oppression of women in the Catholic Church.
Funding for this exhibition came from the French and French American organizations (the artist is French) and from the Illinois Arts Council. From the league’s perspective, the fact that this “art” is being displayed in a state school that receives state monies, and is being funded with additional revenues from a state agency, raises serious church-state questions. Accordingly, the league took its complaint to public officials in Illinois.