Wende stirs controversy

Controversy knows no boundaries, even in the world of art. British artist Jeremy Deller has crossed that line by creating an artwork that he considers “” in theme and presentation, Justin Jampol, executive director of the Wende Museum said.

“We Sit Starving Amongst Our Gods” is Deller’s creation which incorporates vouchers that were once used to return the Russian economy to the common people, and out of the hands of the elite.

Deller, who was unavailable for comment of this story, envisioned “We Sit Starving” as a reflection of the rich competing with art lovers by purchasing artwork and driving market prices out of reach, Jampol said.

The artwork, however, is narrow in its artistic aim.

“He is not trying to badmouth all art lovers or collectors,” Jampol said. “But is specifically attacking Russian royalty, or those he personally feels did not earn their wealth in a legitimate or legal manor.

Born in London in 1966, Deller is described as an installation artist, whose style is conceptual in approach. His works are world renowned, and he has won many awards—including the prestigious Turner Prize in 2004. This year, he was selected as Great Britain’s sole representative at the Venice Bicentennial, which is the art world’s equivalent of the Academy Awards.

To help Deller complete his thought-provoking work, the Wende Museum loaned him the vouchers, stock certificates and bank loans. Jampol said it’s not uncommon for artists to borrow the museum’s artifacts, to evoke controversy and elicit discussions of contemporary issues created by the Cold War.

“In all, the Wende Museum is a place where artists can truly be themselves,” Jampol said. “The Wende Museum encourages artists to push the envelope and to try and find their creative inspiration.”

“We Sit Starving Amongst Out Gods’ is now on exhibit at the Wende Museum. 5741Buckingham Parkway, Suite E, Culver City, CA 90230. The museum is open to the public without tours on Fridays starting at 10 am-5 pm. Parking is available for no cost. To schedule a tour or for more information call 310-216-1600