This alarming cake is the creation of Afro-Swedish artist Makode Linde. What you see here is an exaggeration of a tribal woman, meant to depict the practice of female genital mutilation.
Linde himself played a role in the performance art piece, screaming and moaning in pain as Swedish Culture Minister Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth cut a section of the cake. Images (click through) of a laughing Minister feeding a piece of the cake to Linde as others look on in an amused fashion have created a viral backlash, with some even calling for her resignation because it’s such a bad look.
Naturally, the Culture Minister has tried to wash her hands of the incident. However, she acknowledged that Linde’s message might confuse some: “He claims that it challenges a romanticized and eroticized view from the west about something that is really about violence and racism.” She went on to say, “Art needs to be provocative.”
Art blogger Marina Galperina went in on the piece, calling it an “aggressive trivialization” of female circumcision, and questioned its redeeming qualities.
Is this an aggressive assault on a disgusting practice, or a hollow bit of provocation at the expense of a serious matter? Remember, calling something art doesn't make it bulletproof. There is such a thing as bad art.