Posted 18 October 2009 - 06:48 AM
You're right for the most part there is no protection from the truly obscene: all one has to do is log on. However, their is the conscious decision to search for it, even if it's just typing something in google.
My story about my very first nasty video does have a serious message, it used to be that if you were hankering to be disgusted you had to actively search for it, that included (if you were under age) knowing people, doing groundwork, swapping material etc but you know at the same time it is all part of growing up.
The one area where I truly believe more and more that censorship is damaging and indeed moot is in the performing arts - art used to be confrontational, disturbing, challenging and so little of it is, so little on display excites, sensationalises or provokes and what's more what could be a greater form of censorship than making an active decision to actually go and watch something live, having to travel to a venue, pay a large amount for a ticket, programme, meal, interval drink etc and wait and watch the show? In fact in that respect the De Frutos was quaintly old fashioned - you had to actively seek out being outraged and disgusted - and they stated the potential for offence AND they stated the piece wasn't acceptable for children AND they put the work on after 10 pm. They acted like responsible adults.
Again, parents need worry far more about a torrent finder programme online, which totally circumvents all the online child safeguards, than a half hour piece about the Catholic Church.
David Dougill in the times said he thought Diaghilev would have been outraged by De Frutos; actually I disagree I think Diaghilev would have been outraged by the boring insipid fayre on before it, I also think he'd be outraged by McGregor's damning inditement of the Ballets Russes as largely awful and McGregor's truly awful take on ballet and dance. De Frutos, I think he'd have been rather amused by the his attention grabbing tactics and if he saw De Frutos' real work I think he'd have been enchanted.
The thing is this isn't just a one off, this has been going back years : Lady Chatterly's Lover, The Pillow Book, Torture Garden, Diary of a Chambermaid, Nana, In the Realm of The Senses, Marquis De Sade, Jiri Kylian, Marina Abramovic, Frank Moore, Les Amants, Salo etc etc etc
Acts of obscenity and art have always been intertwined, I cannot for one second condone censorship on art, it defeats the very nature and purpose of its existence.
The De Frutos work was obscene sure, an obscene take on a religion whose very existence has been intertwined with some of the very worst atrocities and obscenities.
I don't know what more one can say on this topic, no one needs protecting from De Frutos, but we all need protecting from a State that passes mandatory censorship on speech and expression.