A 2017 film satirizing the art world is back in the headlines after the production company behind officially issued an apology to Berlin-based Argentinian artist Lola Arias. She is named in the movie, directed by Ruben Östlund, as the creator of the titular artwork, an illuminated outline of a square on a cobblestone courtyard inside which viewers must promise to treat everyone equally.
“We would like to offer an apology to Lola Arias for the way her name was used in the fiction film ,” Plattform Produktion said in a statement shared by Deadline.
“We understand that the use of Lola Arias’s name, which was not discussed as clearly as it should have been, created a misunderstanding connecting her work as an artist to the artwork ,” the statement continued. “After meeting the artist in Berlin and discussing the misperception caused, we would like to emphasize that is an artwork originally created by Ruben Östlund and Kalle Boman for the city of Värnamo, Sweden in 2015. All reference to the artist Lola Arias as the creator of the artwork is fictional.”
In 2017, Arias had filed a lawsuit against the company in Berlin. She claimed the film had caused some people to incorrectly think she created the artwork, or to mistake her for a fictional character.
The artist was originally set to play a minor role in the film, but Arias’s character did not make the final cut. She alleged that Plattform Produktion used her name without her consent.
Starring Claes Bang as a contemporary art curator and Elisabeth Moss as a journalist, the movie won the prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in France.
Arias had hoped suing would prevent the movie from being distributed unless it was edited to remove mentions of her name. It remains to be seen if Plattform with follow up its apology with a new, Arias-free edit of the film. As of press time, neither the artist nor the production company had responded to inquiries from Artnet News.
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