Monday, May 08, 2006

Art Against Censorship at Brooklyn !

Plan B is Brooklyn College’s MFA Theses Exhibition from May 3rd to May 25th. Art pieces, sculptures and paintings are works done by students: Carla Aspenberg, Jill Auckenthaler, John Avelluto, Zoe Cohen, David Davron, Susan C. Dessel, Carl James Ferrero, Carrie Fucile, Pamela Gordon, Yejin Jun, Diane Kosup, Marni Kotak, Augosto Marin, Akiko Mori, Christopher Moss, Sara Phillips, Megan Piontkowski, Tamas Veszi.

Couple of days a go I heard that the MFA Exhibition in Brooklyn College , Plan B, which had an extremely successful opening on Wednesday night was shut down yesterday by the Parks Department (who administers the Brooklyn War Memorial space) due to complaints about the sexual content of some work in the exhibition. On Friday the Brooklyn College lawyers have taken the case! It is now a total legal, first amendment issue, and the school is entirely behind the students. The [Parks] commissioner will not compromise, but what he is doing is totally illegal. The MFA students organized a protest rally on Saturday on the steps of the Brooklyn War Memorial in Cadman Plaza, Brooklyn*.

It is happening once more in Brooklyn, once more censorship. It is a sad reminder of Chris Ofili’s “Black Madonna” and the Rudolph Guiliani’s reaction to the work which was shown at the time in the Brooklyn Museum.

This kind of reaction toward art is expected by the viewers; sometimes the artist intentionally wants his/her work to be offensive. One can get upset by a work of art and can oppose it in a peaceful way of course. But when the authorities, in this case Park Commissioner, allow themselves to abuse or misuse their power in favor of their certain believes it is not a matter of people’s reaction anymore. It is just sad; sad when it happens so often recently: Morality overcoming Freedom. And it is always sad when you don’t give the same opportunity to every one. For instance there are thousands of religious painting in museums today, one who dislikes them can simply goes to other galleries. The same should be the case for those who dislike, say, nudity or abstract arts. They can directly go to the Byzantine section to get elevated and bored at the same time.

*You can find more here.

Chris Ofili, Black Madonna


parastoo said...

Oh my dear Roja!when you feel so bad for such a censorship,guss how we suffer of foolish religious prejudice here,not only by government but also by people, not only by the mass, but also educated people.

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