The Walker Art Center has responded to our criticism arguing “NCAC has placed undue emphasis on the work’s material structure over its concept.” Read our new response.
NCAC has issued a statement signed by several national and international organizations, opposing the Walker’s decision to dismantle and destroy the controversial sculpture.
Mintcheva’s essay examines and argues for the value of free expression in light of recent controversies over art and racially sensitive content, as well as over cultural appropriation, which have left people to question the usefulness of an absolutist defense of free speech.
While critiquing or protesting artworks is a vital part of a healthy democratic society, cultural institutions who bow to demands to remove or destroy works that engage with contentious political or social issues endanger our ability to maintain a public sphere where ideas and societal problems can be freely identified and discussed.
The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) and Lambda Legal are calling on a Tennessee high school to apologize for removing a displayed student artwork featuring the word “GAYDOM” and a rainbow motif. The groups demand the drawing be immediately restored, arguing that the school’s justification for the removal– that some students were offended by the artwork– violates the student artist’s First Amendment rights.