1 December 2023

View of the exhibition “My serial thought” by Miriam Cahn, at the Palais de Tokyo, in 2023.

By wanting to protect the freedom of creation, has Rima Abdul Malak, reluctantly, opened the way to the judicialization of the controversy surrounding the artist Miriam Cahn? In response, on March 21, to Caroline Parmentier (National Rally, RN), MP for Pas-de-Calais who accused the Swiss painter of advocating pedocrime through her painting entitled Fuck abstraction!in which she represents a scene of forced fellatio between a man and a frail kneeling figure, the Minister of Culture had declared: “It is neither for a minister nor for a parliamentarian to qualify a criminal offence. This is the role of justice. »

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It is precisely at the administrative court of Paris that the controversy rebounded, Monday, March 27. Six associations (Jurists for childhood, Childhood sharing, Pornostop, Facing incest, Innocence in danger and the Feminist collective against rape) seized the judge for interim release. Invoking article 227-23 of the penal code, they demand the removal without delay of the painting, or, failing that, the prohibition of access of minors to the room where it is hung. “Each hour that passes aggravates the attack on the best interests of the child, by endangering the minors confronted with the exposure”writes in her request the lawyer Adeline Le Gouvello, who represents Jurists for Children.

The urgent applications judge was quick to render her judgment by rejecting the request of the six associations, Tuesday, March 28: “ THE table does not contain child pornography “, supported the magistrate. ” The fundamental freedoms at stake are freedom of expression and freedom of creation “, she clarified. Since February 17, 2023, she recalled in her judgment, the exhibition has welcomed 45,000 visitors ” without any difficulty having ever been observed by the Palais de Tokyo, which has received no complaints or reports from visitors and has not recorded any minors visiting the exhibition alone. »

The affair, which broke out in early March on far-right social networks and led to a petition demanding the withdrawal of the work, seemed however to have been cleared up by the press release from the Palais de Tokyo dated March 21, in which Miriam Cahn had said that her work did not feature any children.

Slender morphology

” This paintingspecifies the septuagenarian artist, deals with how sexuality is used as a weapon of war, as a crime against humanity. The contrast between the two bodies depicts the bodily power of the oppressor and the fragility of the oppressed kneeling and emaciated by war. » At his request, an explanatory text has even been added next to the work. Mediators are also available to explain the work orally. In the process, the Observatory for the freedom of creation had rebounded by specifying that the “European Court of Human Rights constantly reminds us that the freedoms of expression and creation are there to protect what shocks and disturbs, and not what is consensual”.

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