Written by Robert Foster
13 Monday 13th May 2013

I don't read The Sun, but I have a feeling that if they haven't already, when they get hold of this they'll go with something like 'MAD ARTIST'S HUN SHRINE TO PAEDO'S PET' or maybe 'SHRINE TO MJ'S CHIMP IN NAZI CAPITAL? IT'S NONCE-SENSE'. Either one of those would do, I feel like I could have come up with some more pun-centric ones, but it's Monday morning, give me a chance to get warmed up.

From DS:

To those who care for the shrine to Michael Jackson in Munich:

I am a visual artist and have been invited by the pubic art project in Munich, A Space Called Public to create a public artwork in the city. The project will start in June and run until the end of the summer. In January I visited Munich and discovered the Michael Jackson shrine. I was very interested to find out more about this fascinating creation and I found your web site which told the story of how the shrine came about.

As a sometime fan of Michael Jackson’s music (Off The Wall and Thriller surely being two of the greatest pop records of all time) I started to think about the shrine as the inspiration for an artwork of my own. Thinking back to being a teenager the 1980s and listening to Thriller and Bad, a thought suddenly occurred to me: I wonder what happened to Bubbles?

It did not take me long to find out the Bubbles is still alive and living in an ape sanctuary in Florida (this is a story that you might already know).

It appears that when Bubbles reached adolescence (in the early 1990s) he became too aggressive to keep as a house pet and was subsequently accommodated elsewhere, eventually ending up at the ape sanctuary. The exact details are not known of what happened to Bubbles between leaving Michael Jackson’s care and ending up at the sanctuary. Unfortunately Michael Jackson’s will made no provision for Bubbles and his care at the sanctuary costs $20,000 US a year. The sanctuary cares for numerous apes and is entirely reliant on charitable donations to keep operating. They currently have a considerable shortfall in funding. I decided that I would like to create a shrine to Bubbles on one of the other monuments on Promenadeplatz in the hope that this could raise awareness of Bubbles and his plight and hopefully raise some funds to give him a secure future.

The shrine would be exactly the same in nature to the Michael Jackson shrine; an eclectic mix of images and material relating to Bubbles and his life.

I wanted to tell you about my proposal and to assure you that the project is in no way intended to be a criticism of the Michael Jackson shrine. Nor is it really intended of a criticism of Michael Jackson himself; we can only speculate as to the circumstances as to how provision for Bubbles’ care came to be overlooked. Rather, the project could be seen as an opportunity to put right something that Michael Jackson was unable to do himself due to his untimely death.

Michael Jackson would surely have wanted his companion to be cared for after he was gone.

I am hoping that Michael Jackson fans would be willing to share Promenadeplatz for a few months this summer in order to help Bubbles and I would welcome your comments.

You can find further details about my artwork at my website: 

Sincerely, David Shrigley

It's a funny ol' world. Read more here.

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