Another slice of life in early 21st century Britain and another head-shaking moment.

(http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_midlands/6151048.stm).

A performance artist who dressed as a soldier and lay down in the pedestrianised part of New Street in Birmingham city centre has been moved on by the police for “safety reasons”.

Despite getting prior permission to stage the week-long performance, it has now been cut short.

The performance by Mark McGowan – entitled Dead Soldier and which aims to tackle issues surrounding conflict – drew a sufficient number of complaints from the public for the West Midlands force to act.

His work has apparently drawn criticism from a national newspaper, although there are some who would commend Mr McGowan for this.

Mr McGowan himself makes a valid point when asked about his response to the criticism and the decision to call a halt to the performance.

“The role of a soldier in war is to be used as a weapon and my role as the artist is being a witness to our time,” he says on the BBC’s website. “What am I supposed to paint, pictures about nice things? Well, things right now are not very nice.” 

Whether you agree with his sentiments and his work or not surely he has a right to express himself and his opinions?

We live in such enlightened times.

(http://www.markmcgowan.org/

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