The artist behind a Space Invaders-style installation that depicted the twin towers under attack has pulled the plug, saying the backlash against the tasteless exhibit was “immature.”
Douglas Stanley was ripped by everyone from gamers to 9/11 families for the artwork, which was displayed at a German show marking the 30th anniversary of the 1980s video game.
In a rant on his Web site, Stanley said he told organizers of the Leipzig Games Convention to turn off Invaders because the controversy had blurred the point of the piece.
“The American response to this work has been, frankly, immature, and lacking the sophistication and consideration that other parts of the world have so far shown the work,” he railed. “Contrary to previous reports, I am an American and it saddens me that we as a people remain so profoundly unable to process this event,” added Stanley, who lives in France.
“[Stanley] has absolutely no taste and no feelings for the people involved,” said Nick Chiarchiaro, whose wife and niece were killed on 9/11. “And I think if he had the experience himself, he’d think twice about this.”
I appreciate all the standard “artist independence”, blah, blah. I also think we’re only dealing with tasteless opportunism from a dude hoping for increased coverage of his exhibit.
Maybe I’m wrong. Stanley’s criticism of Americans is true. Shutting down the exhibit certainly wouldn’t be what he planned for. It’s hard to issue useful critical judgement from afar.
Not so incidentally, the folks who own Space Invaders refused to sign off and endorse Stanley’s work.