Published June 13, 2018
A parliamentarian for the Centre Party is demanding answers regarding a photo shoot that took place in Parliament which featured topless women. The shoot itself is a part of a performance piece included in the Reykjavík Arts Festival.
The piece in question, Demoncrazy, shows topless women challenging “the besuited, middle-aged, male image of power with which they grew up”, as the artist’s text explains. Which makes the complaints of Centre Party MP Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson all the more ironic.
His objections were voiced in the form of five formal questions he submitted to Parliamentary President Steingrímur J. Sigfússon. In the questions, Sigmundur demands to know who gave permission for the shoot “for advertisement purposes”, whether this indicates a change in parliamentary dress code, and also whether “such use of the parliamentary building and parliamentary tradition is supposed to increase respect for Parliament”.
Fréttablaðið reports that Sigmundur received his answer. Steingrímur informed Sigmundur that it was a member of the Independence Party, Birgir Ármannsson, who granted permission for the shoot, that it was not for advertisement purposes, and as the women in the photos are not parliamentarians, regulations about parliamentary dress code do not apply.
The artist behind Demoncrazy, Borghildur Indriðadóttir, takes a decidedly philosophical approach to Sigmundur’s outrage, telling Fréttablaðið: “I think this is actually interesting, and maybe good to get some reporting on this. In reality, [Sigmundur’s reaction] is a continuation of the piece, that it’s being talked about. I find it interesting that he describes the group as walking out of the building in a bit of a respectful manner … It’s interesting how he interprets this, how he interprets the exhibition.”
You can watch a sample of Demoncrazy here: