More Strange Doings on the German Art Front:

Last week it was the Deutsche Opera's announcement that it was cancelling future performances of Mozart's "Idomeneo" because one of the scenes in the production involves showing the decapitated head of Mohammed (and Jesus, Poseidon, and Buddha as well) and because of post-Danish-cartoon-imbroglio fears of a violent reaction.
This week, another brouhaha is afoot. The American artist Jonathon Hexner was commissioned by the German publication SLEEK to create a video installation as part of its EAST/WEST exhibition (sponsored by German publisher Axel Springer); the piece was to have been displayed on the screen atop the Axel Springer building in Berlin.
The piece Hexner submitted, entitled "I Like America and America Likes Me," (the phrase comes from an art "action" performed by the German artis Joseph Beuys in 1974 in New York), can be viewed here. It's a pretty neat piece — but Axel Springer has determined, oddly enough, that it is too "Anti-American" to be displayed, and they've pulled it from the exhibition. [The BBC's "World" radio program ran a story today about the controversy, which can be heard at their website.] It does seem like there's more than the usual amount of fear and loathing at the moment in Germany regarding the power of art to make people mad, and even violent, and their expressive culture is likely to be the worse for it.