From November 30 to December 3, Christie’s 3.0 featured the first non-fungible token (NFT) version of Andres Serrano’s “Piss Christ” in Miami. It is part of the Next Wave: The Miami Edit.
What was the cause of this celebratory event? Christie’s wants to revisit what it calls the three “vandalisms” of Serrano’s artwork.
In 1987, U.S. taxpayers were forced to pay $15,000 for this masterpiece. “Piss Christ” is a photo of a jar with a crucifix submerged in Serrano’s own urine. In 1999, it sold for $277,000 at Christie’s.
Christie’s is proud of its latest milking of “Piss Christ.”
“The dynamic video NFT replicates three historic vandalisms of the original 1987 photograph on a yearly cycle. Skilfully [sic] applying the time-based mechanisms of digital art, Serrano both archives and transforms the story of his infamous photograph, underscoring its enduring legacy in the history of art and the right to creative expression.”
This statement demands a rebuttal. Were not the alleged vandals themselves involved in “creative expression”? Who is Christie’s to stigmatize these artists?
This position needs to be taken seriously given the fact that the NFT is being produced in collaboration with an entity called a/political. It bills itself as an organization that “explores radical knowledge through the principle of Cultural Terror. Working with artists and agitators, the collective platforms voices that interrogates the critical issues and dominant narratives of our time.”
In other words, a more tolerant view of the so-called vandals suggests they were really “agitators” inspired by the “principle of Culture Terror.” Their goal was not to be destructive, but to “interrogate the critical issues and dominant narratives of our time.” Seems to us they hit it out of the park.