Sonntag, 1. Juli 2018

The Case of Balthus

Through a Glass Darkly

Lev Mendes
Mia Merrill, the author of the petition addressing Thérèse Dreaming, writes that “given the current climate around sexual assault and allegations that become more public each day, in showcasing this work for the masses without providing any type of clarification, The Met is, perhaps unintentionally, supporting voyeurism and the objectification of children.” The implication is that the achievement of Thérèse Dreaming has been purchased at the expense of its young female model; that Balthus has, in effect, objectified and exploited her for his own perverse purposes; and that the Met, by continuing to display the painting, is complicit in those perversions. Balthus’s work has thus been assimilated into our contemporary reckoning with patriarchal abuse and privilege: the coercive sexual and ideological power men wield over women in ways both implicit and explicit.

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