Issue 76, Winter 1999/2000

arts controversy in Santa Cruz, California has prompted artist Lynn Zachreson to wonder if east coast arts censorship is spreading west. When Zachreson displayed her paintings of nude figures at an annual community art show, the director objected. ‘There is genitalia… when painting the nude, it is awkward to leave it out,’ she said. Her witty solution was to cover the breast and pubic areas with ‘Islamic Purdah’ fashioned from rice paper, with an accompanying definition of Purdah from Webster’s Dictionary. Another figure is now wearing paper doll clothes. Zachreson seized the opportunity to spoof censorship, generate discussion, and promote a public space where art can be freely displayed. In January, the University of California at Santa Cruz will exhibit Zachreson’s show in its original form: unveiled!