Statue of Liberty 2007 135x60x53cm/53×23,5x21inch mixed media private collection

On the subject of the provocative and heartbreaking ‘Statue of Liberty’ sculpture, Harma explains, “That is the only one I didn’t make up at all! I saw it on T.V. just like it turned out, filmed with a hidden camera in a ‘club’ full of girls from age 10 or so, in Thailand. I was quite shaken by it. You heard about such places, but to actually have a look inside… All I added is the half-eaten hamburger in the ashtray (inscribed with the text ‘Have A Nice Day’). The hamburger represents the girl’s situation; human garbage, soon to be dumped half-eaten. The title ‘Statue of Liberty’ is pretty obvious, I think: If freedom is reduced to the liberty to consume whatever you can afford, this may well be what it looks like. In general I make an effort to avoid being this explicit about my personal opinion; the intentions of the maker are not that important, no need to prove that they are good. But in this case, because it was so literally taken from real life, I couldn’t just leave it at that.”

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