Louis Vuitton Demands that Locust Sculptures Be Pulled from Museum Exhibit

Another reason to dislike Louis Vuitton.

Artflaw reports that Louis Vuitton Malletier (LVMH) recently stopped an exhibition of nine luxury-branded locusts.  The sculptures were made by Kyoto-based artist Mitsuhiro Okamoto.  The locust sculptures, which were made from knockoff handbags, were meant to serve as social commentary on the counterfeit culture.   Apparently, all of this was entirely lost on Vuitton.

Vuitton demanded that the locust sculptures be removed because they violated its trademark.  The works had been on display at the Kobe Fashion Museum from April 15 until their removal in May.  The museum removed the sculptures to avoid a costly legal fight with Vuitton.

Stupid move Louis Vuitton.  The entire point of the exhibit was to make people think about the effect of counterfeits on commerce:

The sculptures, which measure about 40 centimeters (16 in) long, are titled “Batta Mon” — a play on the words batta (“locust”) and battamon (slang for “knockoff”).  According to the artist, the works are meant to raise questions about the relationship between authenticity and imitation in a consumer-driven society.  [source]

As one commenter stated on Boing Boing:

The symbolism is obvious: locust multiply by the thousands, take away crops and destroy wealth. Counterfeit items multiply by the thousands, take away legitimate business and destroy wealth. Louis Vuitton, you’re biting the hand that feeds you.

Photo from Pink Tentacle

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~ by siouxsielaw on July 11, 2010.

6 Responses to “Louis Vuitton Demands that Locust Sculptures Be Pulled from Museum Exhibit”

  1. this is a little random and you have to flip through the images a bit to see them, but here’s an artist that made miniature forests out of cut-up luxury brand shopping bags:
    http://www.joseebienvenugallery.com/artist_teruya05-2.html

    but a little closer to the artist you mention, here’s tom sachs:
    http://www.thecoolhunter.net/art/TOM-SACHS-AND-CHANEL/

    ok, like I said – a little random. just thought i’d share.

  2. i wear paul smith glasses! 🙂

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