The artist behind a Space Invaders-style installation that depicted the twin towers under attack has pulled the plug, saying the backlash against the tasteless exhibit was "immature."
Douglas Stanley was ripped by everyone from gamers to 9/11 families for the artwork, which was displayed at a German show marking the 30th anniversary of the 1980s video game.
In a rant on his Web site, Stanley said he told organizers of the Leipzig Games Convention to turn off Invaders because the controversy had blurred the point of the piece.
"The American response to this work has been, frankly, immature, and lacking the sophistication and consideration that other parts of the world have so far shown the work," he railed. "Contrary to previous reports, I am an American and it saddens me that we as a people remain so profoundly unable to process this event," added Stanley, who lives in France.
Families of Sept. 11 victims were glad the exhibit was zapped.
"That's great," said Rosemarie Giallombardo of Brooklyn, whose 27-year-old son, Paul Salvio, was killed in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. "He probably realized that wasn't a proper thing to do. You don't celebrate 3,000 people that way."
"[Stanley] has absolutely no taste and no feelings for the people involved," said Nick Chiarchiaro, whose wife and niece were killed on 9/11. "And I think if he had the experience himself, he'd think twice about this."
The Computer Spiele Museum, which has hosted the gaming convention since opening in 1997, stood by the artist, insisting European visitors had been receptive toward the work. "The debate in the U.S.A. caused the artist Douglas Edric Stanley to switch off his work," said their statement. "We respect the decision of the artist and regret the circumstances which brought him to that conclusion."
Stanley's decision came on the same day Japanese game maker Taito said it was "seriously considering" legal action against the artist. The game maker, which last month unveiled an updated version of Space Invaders, said use of the game was unapproved.
On his Web site, Stanley claimed he had received death threats, but gave no details. He denied he was hoping to create a firestorm by juxtaposing the terrorist slaughter with a video game.
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