From: Demetrios Vakras <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 26 June 2009 6:30:19 PM AEST
To: Robert Cripps <email@example.com>
Cc: Manager Pickett <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Melanie Trojkovic <email@example.com>, Stacy Jewell <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Guildford Lane Gallery <email@example.com>, Lee-Anne Raymond <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Bcc: Demetrios Vakras <email@example.com>
Subject: Addenda to: a misrepresentation of our art + rebutal
What I forgot to mention in my previous response. I will avoid you and your staff. I will avoid your staff but not because I concede to the fabrication you proffered. I do not want them to get into trouble with you.
Your unfounded assertions elicit this long rebuttal.
Your problem is not because your staff have been made uncomfortable by myself. I have not discussed art, art theory, religion, or any such subject with your staff. My dealings with them involved mundane matters such as getting the numbers to stick alongside the paintings, and how to reset the password on a Mac using the Mac OS cd, etc.
Your problem is with what I have written to accompany my paintings. That is also the reason that you have posted your disclaimer. Whatever else you claim is a concoction.
You summarised your position at the opening, as we were leaving. I was not expecting your reaction.
You seem to have taken umbrage to my mentioning that the elderly lady told me that she enjoyed, as she put it, my "giving it to the Muslims". I told her, and repeated to you, my criticism was only ever part of a general criticism of all religion. (All that accompanies the works can be found in the illustrated catalogue.)
The problems followed thenceforth:
1/ you claimed that my writing read like "legalese". To which I responded that were I not to cite and quote to support what I say then it could be claimed I am an opinionated bigot;
2/ you then criticised me because of the "delicate" issue of Palestine. You said you were against the "Jew's state in Palestine". But as I replied, I don't mention Palestine;
3/ you told me I could be more subtle and artistic (or poetic?) in how I wrote, because you did not like the way I present my arguments.
You proceeded to mention "Palestine" again.
The problem you have is: I cite Koranic passages (such as 9.38-52) which if applied with regards to "Palestine" (which I do not mention) would mean that the murder of Jews by suicide bombers is guided by something other than desperation by an oppressed people. That is your problem. Since this is the case, then it is obvious that an unintended consequence of my writings is that I expose your position on the issue to be without foundation.
Your insistence on mentioning "Palestine" repeatedly elicited my response that "Palestinians" as a people no longer exist.
Google the following:
The term "Palestine" comes from the Peleset (mentioned by Rameses iii). The Jews called them Philistines. Author David Rohl, says they are the people the Greeks called Pelas(gi). With the exception of the last-mentioned Pelasgians, there is no disagreement. Diggings of Philistine graves show that they are Mycenaeans=Greeks (books on the archaeological digs can be sourced at the state library or melbourne uni ). Some archaeologists baulk at calling them Mycenaeans (Greeks) and call them "Aegean". Recent translations of inscriptions such those found at Ekron show that even once they adopted the Semitic language the Philistines/Palestinians continued to name themselves after Achish (Acheans, Greeks) and worshipped Pytho (oracle at Delphi) and Ge (earth). The Ekron inscription is reproduced on this page of mine (http://www.vakras.com/sphinx_and_pythia.html) which accredits the articles and books on the inscription on which I have relied. The context of the Ekron inscription on that page serves to show how Greek ideas permeated the Levant, and again, does not involve itself with the "Palestinian" issue.
The "Palestinians", then, as I told you disappeared a long time ago. People might live in Palestine, but a Palestinian is not by definition a "race" of people. Anyone living in "Palestine", whether Arab or Jew, Muslim, Christian, Judaist, is a "Palestinian".
I had wanted to write about the issues regarding the suicide murders of Israelis I would have cited different passages from the Koran:
We [god] have destroyed many a sinful nation and replaced them by other men. The Prophets 21.12
It is ordained that no nation We [god] have destroyed shall ever rise again. The Prophets 21.98
"Allah made a covenant with the Israelites ... But because they broke their covenant We laid on them Our curse ...They have perverted the words of the Scriptures...You will find them deceitful except for a few of them ... " The Table 5.11-17
"If you have suffered defeat, so did the enemy. We alternate these vicissitudes among mankind so that Allah may know the true believers and choose martyrs from among you ...that He may test the faithful and annihilate the infidels. Did you suppose that you would enter Paradise before Allah has proved the men who fought for him...?" The Imrans 3.140-142
The significance of these passages are, that god destroys "sinful" nations which are never to re-emerge. Israel arose as a consequence of "infidel" action (sin). And its existence is a challenge for the faithful to prove their faithfulness to god by destroying that which god had destroyed a long time ago and deigned never to exist again and remove the sin which has taken the form of the state of Israel.
It is a no-brainer: Prophets 21.98 is a paraphrase from the Apocrypha. Ecclesiasticus 10.8:
Because of unrighteous dealings, injuries, and riches got by deceit, the kingdom is translated from one people to another...And this sovereignty over regnum and sacerdotium the Son of God committed to Peter and to his successors.
This passage explained for Christians how they and not any longer the Jews were god's "sacred people". This is reused in the Koran (The Prophets 21.12) to claim Muslims as successors, god's chosen people.
Read the Mein Kampf. You will find sentiments identical to yours. The problems in "Palestine" pre-exist the creation of the Jewish state.
Hitler actively courted Muslims.
(REFER ATTACHED IMAGE: from the Wikimedia commons: Mohammad Amin al-Husayni meeting with Adolf Hitler
Wikimedia Commons From the German Federal Archive . Deutsches Bundesarchiv (German Federal Archive) , Bild 146-1987-004-09A
Titel: Amin al Husseini und Adolf Hitler
File:Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1987-004-09A, Amin al Husseini und Adolf Hitler.jpg
The image is of the Mufti of Jerusalem. The photograph is from 1941. He actively called for the extermination of Jews, before a Jewish state existed, and asked for Hitler's help. SO YOU CANNOT BLAME THE "JEW'S STATE" AS THE CAUSE for problems since the problems pre-existed the Jewish state.
Hitler actively conscripted Muslims who killed Jews and Orthodox Christians.
"Himmler observed a fanatical, blind obedience in the Bosniaks. He thought that Muslim men would make perfect SS soldiers, as Islam "promises them Heaven if they fight and are killed in action.". Himmler was inspired by the success of Bosnian infantry regiments in WWI." Quoted from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/13th_Waffen_Mountain_Division_of_the_SS_Handschar_(1st_Croatian)
To conclude: I do not mention Palestine. I have not discussed anything, other than mundane issues with your staff/volunteers, for there to be any substance to your claim that I scare them.
I was only fearful of offending 2 people who came to the show. Both told me that they were not offended. The prospective offence was the quoting of the Bible alongside quotes from the Mein Kampf.
Your problem is that reality and reason expose you.
Thank you for your communication.
I disagree with your statements as per attached email.
At this stage I think it is best that both parties agree to leave the other to their own business and forget trying to resolve the disagreements and misunderstandings. This way you and Demetrios are able to bring people to your exhibition as you wish and we will continue to do our work without further interaction. You can be assured that we will not interrupt you and that you guests will feel comfortable in the gallery. We would appreciate it if you could also ensure that myself, gallery staff and volunteers will also not be approached by Demetrios without prior notification, as he has made myself, staff and volunteers feel very uncomfortable.
If you wish to have any further discussion please write to me to prevent heated arguments causing further problems and to keep all communication in writing.
Please also notify me personally when you will be attending the gallery so that I can make sure I am on site, as I am ultimately responsible as the director of the gallery. This is just in case you have any needs that must be met, in which case staff and volunteers do not wish to be involved and you will need to deal with me directly. You may call me on my mobile if need be: 0408 310 912.
Thank you in anticipation of a successful interaction.
Redleg Museum Services
Guildford Lane Gallery
Redleg Museum Services
T: 61 3 9642 2807 / Mob: 61 0408 310 912
GUILDFORD LANE GALLERY
20-24 Guildford Lane, Melbourne 3000 Australia
PO Box 12179 aBBeckett St., Melbourne 3008
ABN 42 757 280 214
T: 61 3 9642 0042 / Mob: 61 0408 310 912
On 25/06/2009, at 7:14 PM, Lee-Anne Raymond wrote:
The purpose for exhibiting work is for it to be seen for it to therefore be sold. It is ridiculous that upon our even entering the gallery yesterday, simply to photograph our works, that you shadow us simply to harangue us! Additionally, you can't order us to "get out" of your gallery: we have paid for the space; our work is exhibited in the space; and we are within our rights to be in the space to promote our work. I am not going to belabour the obvious: it is a space that has been hired for us to use. We are in that space legitimately.
Stop haranguing us, and badgering us, and slandering us because of your own racism. You would be well advised to cease projecting your own racism onto others. Being against Jews, as you state to us you are, is racist. The exhibition includes criticism of 4 religions - and this has nothing to do with race.
You cannot claim to be threatened by Demetrios and be scared of him on the grounds that he does not agree with your myopic world view which is, to reiterate, a consequence of "your limited intellect and limited erudition". And you can not engineer, as it is evident you are engineering, a claim that we have breeched some condition of exhibitiing at the gallery, by claiming we have committed a criminal act because of our "racism", or as it seems, "attacked" you because you claim that being contradicted scares you! We do not want you to talk to us, we did not invite you to badger us with your diatribe. We do not want to deal with you. We do not want to listen to your bellicose belligerent rants. If you have anything to say to us, do it through an intermediary. And stop fabricating the "I'm threatened by you" nonsense, which is contradicted by your shadowing both of us. I am concerned by you because your behaviour is characteristic of a bully unable to have his own way. You are unreasonable to deal with.
We are not confident to even suggest people visit the exhibition because your behaviour suggests to us you are badgering people for merely viewing the art. You obviously do not understand Surrealism nor its aims. Refer : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Rvolution_surraliste (with especial reference to Issue 3).
That can you bully and badger your employees and volunteers until they simply acquiesce to your belligerence, never makes you right. They are in an unfortunate position, and we feel for them. They are not responsible for your behaviour. The signage is your prerogative, but that does not give you the right to harangue us.
If we come into the gallery it will be during gallery hours to view our exhibition with guests. It is our expectation you will conduct yourself appropriately.
As per the instructions on your "responsibilities of the artist" paper work we will arrive to take down and remove our show at 5pm on the final day, Sunday 5th July. This is what has been agreed to.
Lee-Anne Raymond & Demetrios Vakras