Beware of Artists They Mix With All Classes of Society, 2011, found t-shirt in Hue, Vietnam in 2003, size 28×25.5 inch
35 edition of re-produce t-shirts
This is believed as a quote from a letter written in 1845 by King Leopold of Belgium to Queen Victoria: ‘dealings with artists, for instance, require great prudence; they are acquainted with all classes of society, and for that reason dangerous; they are hardly ever satisfied, and when you have too much to do with them, you are sure to have des ennuis’ — Leopold to Victoria, 10 October 1845. Senator McCarthy had them written for his anti-communist agenda. Many artists were investigated by the House of Un-American Activities Committee. McCarthy went for blood and this era of anti-communism has even been referred to as a “witch hunt.” Also, as the reflect of the letter as a poster get has gone viral on the internet, with many mis-attributions as to the author and the context. See the poster at http://imgur.com/odfA8
However, I found a T-shirt with this quote on it in the year 2003, Hue, Vietnam. It seemed this turns the point of view to socialist mentality about artist, even thought the country has had an ‘open door’ policy or Doi Moi since 1990s. Artists are considered to be dangerous for national security these days in many Asian countries include Myanmar, Laos and China.
I reproduced the text on the t-shirt in order to stimulate discussion in contexts wherever the t-shirt goes.
The project have produced for the exhibition Siamese Connection 2011: Rediscover at Invisible Dog, New York, USA in 2011.