Thursday, February 26, 2009

Art Censored!?!?!?!

That's right - it's certainly not a new phenomenon but still astonishing. Especially in this case since this particular instance involves an institution of higher education. An institution like most that strives to stimulate creative inquiry, critical thinking, thoughtful expression and is committed to diversity and inclusion. These are just a few of the goals mentioned in their mission statement.

Unfortunately this diversity, inclusion and critical thinking does not extend to such things as The Century Project exhibit to take place on their campus (for the second time mind you) in early March. Unfortunately this amazing, emotional exhibit has been edited due to one complaint from a gentleman who admits that he has in fact not seen the entire exhibit - just what's on the website. I have two issues with this. One, how can one pass such harsh judgement on an exhibit they have not viewed. Secondly, seeing a piece of art on a website versus in person are two completely different experiences. Never mind the size of the piece or even the quality of the image. Seeing a work of art removed from it's original form changes it and seeing a nude on something as commonplace as a computer screen can affect the viewer in a way that is completely different from the intention. I would compare it to looking at a scanned version of a photocopy of a photograph. Viewing that image would be a shadow of the original photo - unable to convey the true nature of the piece.

This powerful exhibit has been circulating the country since 1992 and according to sources this is the first time in its history a portion of it has been banned. I find it disturbing that one man has had the influence to affect my experience of this exhibit. This exhibit that I have the choice to attend, one that presents these images of women embracing their bodies in every form, in every stage of life. These women are not being objectified they are celebrating their personal existence and sharing it with the world for our benefit. Please don't censor my experience - my experience as patron, an artist, a student of life, a member of the community, a woman.

For additional information please see the links I have provided.

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