Interview with the Murderer of Ronald McDonald

26.01.2012 Misc #Art #Food

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Wie passend zum McTwitter-Fail: Regine von We Make Money Not Art hat ein Interview mit Jani Leinonen geführt, der für sein Kunstprojekt Food Liberation Army vor zwei Jahren eine Ronald McDonald-Statue aus einer der Essensausgabestellen „entführt“ und geköpft. Im Sommer wird ihm nun der Prozess gemacht, es werden ihm Betrug und Fälschung vorgeworfen und er freut sich drauf.

What happened after the Ronald affair? I read about the whole ordeal with the police and how the fast food decoration eventually went back to the restaurant. Is the police still looking at you suspiciously? Has McDonald's banned you from its restaurants? But more more generally, do you think that Food Liberation Army brought the right spotlight on your artistic career? Or looking back, do you think you should have handled things differently?

Fortunately I was not banned from McDonald´s restaurants because I do visit them often. I keep telling myself it´s artistic research but I think I am lying even to myself. We just got the final charges via mail a few weeks ago. I and two other FLA members are charged with forgery and fraud, and the trial will be held in June in Helsinki. The prosecutor claims that the repair form of a fictional statue repair company we left at the table at McDonald´s is a forgery. Even more surprisingly he claims we committed a fraud and tried to profit economically by kidnapping Ronald. I am very happy about the chance to make my case in trial. We are planning to invite the best food specialists and art scholars to witness that our action was art and and served a revolutionary purpose.

Of course, there are many things I would have done differently. Then again, there was no way of knowing that, for example, the police would be doing a six man raid at my home just because we took a plastic store decoration. The project happened mostly in the web and media, and the debates it started and the attention it got there, were beyond all my expectations.