When Piero Manzoni canned his feces for sale as art in 1961, he priced them according to the value of their weight in gold. Pia Kjaersgaard, the chairwoman of the Danish right-wing populist party Dansk Folkeparti is less than impressed, criticizing the gesture in a recent interview with Süddeutsche Zeitung. “I think I can judge that shit is shit, and that shit in a jam glass is not art,” Kjaersgaard told the newspaper.
Some political commentators have interpreted the interview as the start of a broader political effort by Danish conservatives to redraw the nation’s culture and the government's role within it. Kjaersgaard, who is said to be aiming to become the nation's culture minister, also used the interview to attack the government’s method of funding the arts, in which, she says, “the cultural elite… take life-long grants from the [government] art funds.”
Gagosian's New York retrospective of Manzoni’s work earlier this year was celebrated by many critics. Writing in the New York Times in February, Holland Cotter declared, “I’ve seen the Manzoni show three times and want to go again.”