Assassinations and Arts/Culture
The influence of assassinations on arts and culture
At first glance, the numerous influences and relations between assassinations and the domains of art and culture stick out. Particularly, the paintings have to be mentioned. One of the most famous assassinations for political and religious causes, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, brought the painting arts an immense mass of works dealing with this subject. Few artists care for the still controversial exactly historical visualizing of the case, rather Jesus should be shown as a martyr of the Christian believe. French painter Jacques-Louis David had have the same intention when imaging his death friend Jean-Paul Marat in the bathtub. There are more accurate pictures of this deed, but David wanted to draw Marat as a victim of the French revolution. The many theatre plays treating political murders might not be forgotten. The most popular performances include the stabbing of Gaius Julius Caesar and the beheading of Maria Stuart. Besides, there had been a direct influence on a theatre play by the shooting of Abraham Lincoln. The play's name had been the comedy "The American Cousin", performed at Ford's Theatre. Since the businesslike theatre manager told the news about Lincoln's visit at the play, audience as well as assassins knew of the high visitor. The actor John Wilkes Booth who worked at the playhouse spontaneously changed the text of his role to "Sic semper tyrannis" or "The South is avenged" after he had shot Lincoln, jumped onto the stage and escaped. The appearance of cinema techniques led to the movie-making of such exciting events like assassinations. The films of this category repeatedly belong to the most controversial of their genres, especially their historical preciseness. Basically, one have to distinguish between documentaries and feature films whereas the first ones better belong to the category of media. The cultural aspect of features films supremes the one of the documentaries since the directors partially use fictional elements and content. It's remarkable that especially the assassinations of the pre-Christian era and those until the end of the Middle Ages are most abundant under the feature film topics. Well-known visualizings of recent years are the 1992-directed film epic "JFK" by Oliver Stone which re-instigated the rumors about the John F. Kennedy assassination. Besides the re-recording of scenes described by eyewitnesses, he also uses a short fragment of the legendary original film by the amateur Zapruder who captured the bloody attack on celluloid. The next discussed group of arts is music. The US-American rock musician Billy Joel dealt with even four famous political murders in his 1989-published song "We didn't start the fire". All in all, the song tells the worldwide post-war history with catch phrases, without avoiding criticism. Already in the first strophe, he mentions the Rosenberg Case in the same line with the hydrogen bomb. The song's climax can be found in the verse "JFK, blown away, what else do I have to say". Kennedy was shortly named before, as well as the unambiguous hints to the murdered Eichmann and Malcolm X. There's another song dealing with the topic, particularly with a terrorist uprising. The 1983-published song "Sunday, Bloody Sunday" by the Irish rock band U2 tells about the IRA fight against the British occupation. In Irish history, there are two events called "Bloody Sunday": On the one hand the Easter Uprising of April 24, 1916, which had been brutally precipitated by the British after five days, and on the other hand the bloody Sunday of January 30, 1972. This partly violent demonstration by some 30,000 Irish nationalists was also merciless cast down. U2 put this song on their album "war", but it cannot be clearly said which of the days mentioned above is described in the song. At long last, we deal with the statuary. As an example we can refer to the memorial of Empress Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary which had been inaugurated in the Viennese People's Garden in 1907. In analogy to the mysterious assassination of foundling and might-be ruler Kaspar Hauser, a commemorative plaque had been established in the Courtyard Garden of Ansbach (Germany). The pillar's inscription which is still valid today, reads as follows: "Hic occultus occulto occisus est", which means: "Here, a mysterious person was murdered by a mysterious person."