Nudity & Pornography

Shameless in Lafayette: Nude ArtWalk !

By |2016-07-07T15:59:36-04:00April 7th, 2016|Blog, NCAC at work|

A few days ago we wrote about artist Nicole Touchet 's recent brush with censorship in Free the Nipple: Nude Paintings Raise Temperatures in Lafayette. The artists of Lafayette have since rallied around the cause of freedom of expression with a city-wide Nude ArtWalk. For this occasion we offer our statement on nudes and censorship: The Human Body is Not [...]

The Damned Dozens: Art Censorship in 2014

By |2019-03-08T00:05:24-04:00December 4th, 2014|Blog|

Don’t hold your breath for nipple reveals or cock shows – while artistic representations of nudes remain a regular target of censorship, the most compelling and controversial artwork in 2014 came from artists challenging social norms and exposing cultural fissures. There was the occasional use of female anatomy or children as subjects, but what each painting, photo, or mural on [...]

The Top 40 Free Speech Defenders of 2014

By |2019-03-15T18:19:32-04:00October 23rd, 2014|Blog|

"Complacency is ever the enabler of darkest deeds." Robert Fanney recognized, as we do at NCAC, that silence and apathy lead to repression and censorship. In our 40th anniversary year, we celebrate the artists, authors, students, educators, librarians, lawmakers, celebs du jour, and yes, even corporations, who refused to remain silent on the top threats to free speech in 2014. [...]

Sculpture of Male Nude Declared Porn by Some Texans

By |2016-01-15T11:11:56-04:00September 24th, 2014|Blog|

Jorge Marin's sculpture group Wings of the City has been on display in Houston's Discovery Green Park since early September. Almost predictably some viewers are objecting to the nudity of the sculptures. As usual those who object do it supposedly on behalf of the innocence of children - though Wings of the City has been exhibited internationally with no apparent damage to [...]

Pennsylvania Teen Criminally Charged for Naughty Facebook Pictures with Jesus Sculpture

By |2016-01-15T11:11:28-04:00September 16th, 2014|Blog|

Is symbolic behavior a crime when it may offend religious sensitivities? A 14-year-old boy could be facing up to two years in juvenile detention for posting lewd, crass, yet ultimately innocuous photos on Facebook this past July. The problem: the photos featured him suggestively posing with a sculpture of Jesus. While traipsing the lawn of a local religious organization known [...]

The Popularity of John Green’s “Pornography”

By |2019-03-07T22:51:47-04:00August 13th, 2014|Blog|

Like family heirlooms passed down through generations, the same books are often retained in school curricular for student after student to read and reflect upon. These classic novels undoubtedly serve to develop the mental and emotional capacities of their readers; they are, after all, “classics.” But even the rebellious Holden Caulfield and the daring Winston Smith can fail to transcend [...]

Harvard Law Review Censors Link to Nan Goldin Photograph

By |2017-10-12T13:55:02-04:00June 26th, 2014|FEPP Articles|

The Harvard Law Review has censored a link to an image by the prominent photographer Nan Goldin, ostensibly because of concerns about child pornography. The image, "Klara and Eddy Belly Dancing," shows two little girls cavorting, one of them nude. The link was included in an article by Marjorie Heins on censorship by private companies that offer social-media sites, web [...]

Then and Now: The Triple X Edition

By |2019-03-15T16:09:16-04:00June 19th, 2014|Blog|

Sex. It's impure, shameful, dirty, immoral, and… harmful? Taboos around sex have existed through the ages, so much so that the American legal system classifies obscene sexual material as a rare exception to First Amendment protection. We rely on judges to tell us if our sexual imagination is obscene or acceptable, and 41 years ago this month, the Supreme Court [...]

Happy Nude Year! Lawsuit Forces Display of Nudes Until January 17

By |2019-03-07T12:08:03-04:00December 13th, 2013|Blog|

Court settlement extends San Bernardino County Government Center exhibit, to compensate for time during which paintings had been removed. Today NCAC and and the ACLU of Southern California were please to see the final court settlement that extends the exhibition time of three recently restored paintings at the San Bernardino County Government Center. The extended display period will compensate for [...]

*UPDATE: VICTORY!* ACLU files lawsuit to uphold artistic freedom in San Bernardino County

By |2019-03-15T16:46:19-04:00November 22nd, 2013|Incidents|

  **Victory! San Bernardino County Restores Artwork! NCAC congratulates artists, community members, and ACLU for defending First Amendment principles** Read the whole story in the San Bernardino Sun.   This past September, NCAC received a call from an artist outraged at the removal of three paintings from the Hispanic National Heritage Art Exhibition at the San Bernardino County Government Center. Apparently [...]

The FCC and Indecency: The Supreme Court Decides Not to Decide

By |2017-10-18T16:48:02-04:00June 27th, 2012|FEPP Articles|

The potentially momentous case of Federal Communications Commission v. Fox Television ended on June 21 not with a bang but a whimper. True, a unanimous Supreme Court vacated the FCC's rulings that the "fleeting expletives" in two TV programs and the fleeting nudity in a third were "indecent." But it did so on the narrow ground that the agency violated [...]

“The Dirty Cowboy” Cause Lives On

By |2019-03-15T17:22:26-04:00June 12th, 2012|Blog|

You remember The Dirty Cowboy, our favorite book ban in May? School board members may be standing their ground, but they haven't heard the last of residents perturbed by the ban. The Patriot-News and The Lebanon Daily News both featured an Op-Ed piece by Annville-Cleona parent Tim White this weekend. White writes: "Although ACSD board President Tom Tschudy stated that [...]

NCAC, Free Speech Groups Criticize MD Library’s “Porn” Ban

By |2016-02-05T13:43:26-04:00June 12th, 2012|Incidents|

NCAC organized a number of free speech groups in a letter to the Harford County Public Library, criticizing its exclusion of E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey (Vintage). The library has stated it will not buy the book, despite demand from patrons, because of a categorical ban on "pornography." 

“Fifty Shades” of Free Speech FTW!

By |2019-03-07T23:31:53-04:00May 29th, 2012|Blog|

Three weeks ago, the National Coalition Against Censorship heard that the bestselling erotic novel had been unceremoniously pulled from library shelves in Brevard County, FL, supposedly at the prerogative of one individual. There had been no complaints by patrons--on the contrary, many were waiting to get their hands on a copy of the book that has been a crazy hit, largely with [...]

NCAC Opposition to “Fifty Shades” Ban Big in the News

By |2019-03-15T17:22:23-04:00May 25th, 2012|Blog|

The meteoric sales of Fifty Shades of Grey and its subsequent banning from public libraries around the country--in particular in Brevard County, FL, has been all over the news this week. One of the most notable of the media pick-ups was a story in The New York Times on Monday about the debate over stocking the book in public libraries. The [...]

Art, Porn and Censorship: the Mansfield Art Center (OH) Covers up Painting

By |2019-03-15T17:10:55-04:00May 24th, 2012|Blog|

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 [...]

Video: “Fifty Shades of Grey” Fans Speak Out Against Library Ban

By |2019-03-07T23:31:52-04:00May 11th, 2012|Blog|

We spoke to fans of Fifty Shades of Grey about libraries that have banned their beloved trilogy, and erotica in general. This video was shot at an appearance by Grey author E.L. James at the Union Square Barnes & Noble in NYC. What do you think about libraries that have chosen to exclude all erotica, even while they carry works [...]

Victory Over Censorship in Colorado

By |2019-03-07T21:46:29-04:00June 9th, 2011|Incidents|

One more public exhibition space forgot about their obligations under the First Amendment and removed artwork they found subjectively "offensive." In April this happened in California, this time it was Colorado. To their credit, however, local officials quickly corrected their mistake when reminded by NCAC's letter that it is not the role of public officials to shield the eyes of the public from work because they subjectively decides it is not “family-friendly.”

Letter From NCAC and FAP To Marin Civic Center In Response To Art Censorship

By |2016-04-07T15:42:33-04:00April 14th, 2011|Incidents|

As organizations dedicated to promoting the First Amendment right to free speech, including freedom of artistic expression, we are deeply concerned about the removal of Sylvia Cossich Goodman’s work from the annual Marin Arts Council member show at the County Civic Center. Your decision, as a government employee, to remove an artwork from an exhibition held at a public space raises serious First Amendment concerns. We urge the Civic Center to immediately put the work back on display and, in the future, draft exhibition policies that are consistent with First Amendment principles.

Nudes In The News! Marin County Civic Center Censors Artist

By |2019-03-07T23:30:14-04:00April 12th, 2011|Blog|

The Marin County Civic Center has chosen to eliminate a nude painting by San Rafael artist Sylvia Cossich Goodman from a public exhibition. The full-frontal nude was accepted through what we can assume was a standard submission process, and was up in public for a week. So why take it down now? Because an employee complained it created "a hostile [...]

Mermaid Sculpture Covered with Bikini Top in UK

By |2019-03-07T23:27:14-04:00August 10th, 2010|Blog|

In the latest case of a nude sculpture causing a stir... Managers at Chessingtons Sea Life centre have covered up a topless mermaid sculpture. Justine Locker, Chessingtons Zoo Experience Manager, said: "Young boys, and not so young boys, spending a lot of time ogling her in the walkthrough ocean tunnel" (Courtesy of the Telegraph.)

Second Life Censors Machinema Film Over Artistic Nudity

By |2019-03-07T23:19:13-04:00June 22nd, 2010|Blog|

The online virtual environment Second Life headlines the latest censorship scandal: they took down an art exhibit because SL community guidelines do not allow nudity unless it is confined to a space that has a “mature” or “adult” rating.  The work in question was an installation based on Rose Borchovski’s Susa Bubble, an anthology of machinema films following the surreal, [...]

Temecula’s cultural life remains in the hands of city official’s subjective tastes

By |2019-03-15T15:24:19-04:00May 6th, 2010|Blog|

Temecula city management, which was responsible for removing a nude artwork from an exhibition in January, has decided not to create a written policy for the selection of artworks in city-owned exhibition spaces. Instead, Temecula’s Community Services Director Herman Parker (or someone designated by him) will partake in the selection process. NCAC Director of Programs, Svetlana Mintcheva, says: It is [...]

(In)decent exposure? Nudes in art

By |2019-03-07T23:06:29-04:00February 26th, 2010|Blog|

Representations of nudes in painting, sculpture, and photography frequently become subject to controversy. The law, however, is clear: simple nudity (that is nudity outside of a sexually explicit situation) has full constitutional protection. (That does not mean that public officials are always aware of this as a current case in Temecula, CA, testifies.) But what about a live [...]