A discussion of what to do with the art of morally compromised artists, how morally compromised is "too" morally compromised, whether it matter if the artist is alive and, ultimately, who decides upon these issues of what is acceptable
A US-based Chinese artist was forced to remove three paintings from a show in North Carolina to avoid "offending" patrons.
Image courtesy of Drew Kerr The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) urges Queens Library to restore an exhibition of photographs it canceled and allow it to run for three weeks as originally planned. Drew Kerr’s exhibition, Faces of The 7 Train, consists of 32 black-and-white photographs that the artist shot of passengers on the 7 train over the course of [...]
On December 17th, Tumblr permanently banned adult content from its platform. Under the new community guidelines, any image that depicts sex acts, real-life human genitalia, or (with a few exceptions) female nipples will be hidden from public view. Despite the company’s claims, the new guidelines will not create a “better, more positive” Tumblr.
SMART TACTICS: Curating Difficult Content examines the internal and external pressures curators must navigate when considering potentially controversial material. Combining decades of advocacy experience with extensive interviews and curatorial surveys, this volume includes both a report on what happens behind the scenes in art institutions and a handbook for confronting the challenges of curating difficult content.
The National Coalition Against Censorship continues its support of student-led protests by extending the deadline for its protest-themed film contest to May 15th. This year’s contest invites aspiring teen filmmakers to create short films on the value of protest as an instrument of social change. In the weeks leading up to the March for Our Lives and National School Walkouts [...]
Artspace, the self-described "non-profit real estate developer for the arts," creates affordable live-work spaces in a world where such spaces are rapidly disappearing. However, on more than one occasion, Artspace has censored works exhibited by residents on their premises. The most recent incident occurred in East Minneapolis.
Sunset Park High School in Brooklyn, NY removed a work of student art last week after complaints that its message was offensive. NCAC opposes allowing a "hecker's veto" to chill this student's right to free expression.
After an artist was censored in Norfolk, VA, the public agency who shut down her show cancels all future art exhibitions.
The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) vehemently objects to the violation of the public’s right to access art by Guantanamo detainees and thus fully participate in the political conversation around Guantanamo. The new directive also violates the human rights of the detainees under international norms and further destruction of the work would impermissibly suppress documents of historical importance.
Johns Sims was finally able to present his work, "Confederate Flag: A Public Hanging", after years of forced adaptation and abridgment.
NCAC Releases Statement Criticizing Walker Art Center’s Decision to Destroy Controversial Sculpture; UPDATE: Sculpture to be Ceremonially Buried
NCAC has issued a statement signed by several national and international organizations, opposing the Walker's decision to dismantle and destroy the controversial sculpture.
Minnesota Performing Arts Center Censors Play Over Word ‘Mulatto’ in Title; UPDATE: NCAC and DLDF Send Letter to Mayor Kautz
The play offers a perspective on the experience of growing up biracial -- or "mulatto," a dated term used to describe a person with one black and one white parent.
The decision to cancel the play was understandable, given the controversy around the photo, but was it the best decision that could have been made?
NCAC is urging a Maryland school district to allow its teachers to display a series of posters promoting diversity and inclusion in America after administrators ordered their removal over concerns of political bias.
The posters were deemed to break the school's policy that forbids classroom materials that attempt to sway the political opinions of students.
Black History Month Art Exhibition Removed From School Admin. Offices; UPDATE: NCAC & ACLU Urge District to Immediately Restore Exhibit
An exhibition of artworks celebrating Black History Month was removed from display in a San Jose School district building after complaints calling the works offensive.
The number of cases registered in 2016 more than doubled the amount registered in 2015, an increase of 119%, which translates to an extra 469 attacks.
NCAC Responds to American University Museum’s Removal of Controversial Sculpture; UPDATE: NCAC Advises AU Museum on Strategies to Avoid Future Controversy
American University Museum in Washington D.C. flubbed its approach to a controversial sculpture after it claimed it did not want the message of the sculpture to be deemed the institution's own.
Missouri Congressman Defends Student Painting Attacked for Animal Depiction of Police; UPDATE: Without Permission, Rep. Lawmaker Removes Painting
Representative Clay has stood in support of artistic free expression in the face of criticisms that the painting contains an anti-police message.
David Wojnarowicz (born 1954, died 1992) Untitled (Buffalo), 1988-89. Vintage gelatin silver print, signed on verso, 28⅝x35¾; inches. Collection of Michael Sodomick, Courtesy of the Estate of David Wojnarowicz and P.P.O.W Gallery, New York In statements reminiscent of the culture wars of the 1990s, three Republican lawmakers in Cobb County, Georgia have attacked a museum exhibition that [...]
American Nocturne: When Public Art Engenders Controversy; UPDATE: Mural Removed, Elgin Arts Commission Will Decide Fate
NCAC has sent a letter to Elgin Mayor David Kaptain supporting the mural's return in advance of the City Council's vote on its fate on July 13th.
Mark Ryden: Fountain, 2003. Oil on Panel, 12x6.25 inches. ©Mark Ryden. In a replay of former New York Mayor Guiliani's attempt to grab attention by attacking "blasphemous" art, Ben Loyola, a member of the Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission, is directing his ire against the work of LA-based painter Mark Ryden, featured in Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of [...]
After cries of censorship, an eviction and a lawsuit, The Central Utah Art Center (CUAC) will receive a $60,000 in a settlement with the city of Ephraim, it was announced Friday. The lawsuit was filed in early 2013 after the CUAC was evicted from the space they had inhabited for 20 years. The city alleged the CUAC hadn't fulfilled its [...]
G. Wayne Clough is familiar to followers of NCAC as the Smithsonian Institution Secretary who unilaterally pulled a video from a National Portrait Gallery exhibition at the behest of Congressional Tea Party pressure. Clough has just announced he will resign … Continue reading →
"Art is a way to speak our minds!!!" one hand-drawn sign reads. "IB Art Matters!" reads another. These signs hang on the art display boards where art, done by Palmer High School's IB Art students, once hung. In response to recent censorship by the High School, students have made their voice heard in defense of their work and in support [...]
The recent rather heavy-handed treatment of Marc Bradley Johnson’s MFA thesis project at New York’s School of Visual Art (SVA) raises some interesting concerns—especially for an institution that aims to play a leadership role in the bio-art movement. Johnson’s project consists of a refrigerator containing 68 vials of his sperm arranged on a grid. The artist originally intended to give [...]
The Twelve Days of Censorship Years of Censorship Battles 120 Days of Sodom Egyptian Breasts Milking Nude Ladies Dancing Lords Banned for Witchcraft Bush Monkeys Swimming Nude Adults laying A golden chastity key Aristophanes‘ The Birds Catholic French outrage, a Clear Channel Dove and no art in Newark library Joy Crane's chastity belt sculpture was too risque for the "family-friendly" Brookings Art Council Annual Juried Art Exhibit in [...]
The staff at The Visceglia Gallery were very much looking forward to the opening of its GET IT ON THE RECORD exhibit, a collection of works by twenty-one African-American artists investigating the "collective history of Black America." As part of the exhibit, poet Amiri Baraka had been invited to speak. That invitation was rescinded, however, because the College President and others [...]
A painting, included in a juried exhibition show at the Mansfield Art Center in Ohio, was partially covered with black paper. The painting had been selected for inclusion in the show, but the management of the Art Center decided that the outside edges of the work, which were covered with clippings from pornographic magazines, should not be seen by anyone. Sans [...]
Sweden’s minister of culture has been in the global news spotlight recently, and not for her nation's propensity for neo-noir literature. Minister Lena Adelson Liljeroth was invited to attend and speak at World Art Day at Stockholm’s Museum of Modern Art. The engagement took a turn for the bizarre when Liljeroth was invited by artist Makode Linde to cut into [...]
Until a few weeks ago, the Arts Building at the Aurari Higher Education Center in Denver featured several walls emblazoned with the kindly decree to “Post Artwork Here.” However, in light of recent controversy over the graphic work that student Estee Fox hung on one of these walls, the “authorities” (that blissfully meaningless blanket term) have rechristened these areas as [...]
Update: Lawrence, KS officials have banned the project, saying the proposed art installation would amount to animal cruelty. The Kansas code allows “with respect to farm animals” for “normal or accepted practices of animal husbandry, including the normal and accepted practices for the slaughter of such animals for food or by-products and the careful or thrifty management of one's herd [...]
2012 has already brought a few cases of censored art to our attention: Microsoft Skydrive froze UK blogger Michael Ohajuru's storage account because Modigliani’s painting “Reclining Nude” violated Microsoft's Code of Conduct which prohibits images that “depict nudity of any sort”; and ?zmir Metropolitan Municipality removed three photographs (below) from the exhibition “Aykiri” (Contrary) at the Izmir Art Center in Turkey as they reportedly [...]
It’s true that the Smithsonian’s Flashpoints and Faultlines forum was too late for Hide/Seek, but keeping the issues alive months after the exhibit closed may be the right timing for the future of this public institution. It was no surprise that in his welcoming remarks Wayne Clough described himself as having no choice but to censor the artwork. Less expected [...]
Last October we reported about an incident at the Loveland Museum/Gallery in Colorado where a woman ripped into a lithograph after she busted the artwork’s plexiglass case with a crowbar. She did this because God told her to do it. In her explanation of the vandalism, Kathleen Folden refers to the similar destruction of Andres Serrano’s Piss Christ in Australia [...]
Stanley Bermudez' Heritage? (above) had been displayed for just over two weeks at the Gainesville State College Gallery before Martha Nesbitt, the President of GSC, ordered its removal. The painting, which layers images of a Klansman and a lynching upon a Confederate battle flag, drew protests spurred by a post on Southern Heritage Alerts. The Heritage Preservation Association, which has [...]