Mermaid Raped by the Beach Public

Lubo Kristek on consumerism and commodification of art

Mermaid Raped by the Beach Public (1976) by Lubo KristekResearch Institute of Communication in Art

"Mermaid Raped by the Beach Public"

During the 1970s and 1980s, Lubo Kristek travelled intensely, mostly to coastal countries. He felt attracted by the landscape and accidental encounters.

His wanderings were nourished by him striving to prevent consumerism from absorbing art and transforming an artwork into a mere commodity.

In 1976, the German magazine Collage published an interview with Kristek who stated: 

Some influential institutions lecture people to follow their own material profit. The artist – already an accomplished one, or only a future one – is then forced to a particular form by a credulous crowd, which is what is so horribly dangerous. (…)

(...) The masses often won’t notice a new market has emerged there.

Kristek ignored the dictate of any institution and preferred to get in touch with nature. In the same year on the coast near Pesaro, Italy, an artwork on the boundary of land art and performance was born during one of his travels. 

Out of sand, he made the Mermaid Raped by the Beach Public. He intentionally placed her so that the tide would bite into her little by little, until absorbing her completely.

Transience was a part of his aim. People gathered around and, during their common observation, a debate lasting several hours on the life cycle developed. The sand sculpture was swallowed by the waves of the Adriatic Sea.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Explore more
Google apps