Jump to content


This site uses cookies. By using this site, you agree to accept cookies, unless you've opted out. (US government web page with instructions to opt out: http://www.usa.gov/optout-instructions.shtml)

Censorship!


  • Please log in to reply
24 replies to this topic

#16 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 25,728 posts

Posted 18 February 2001 - 05:34 AM

I think Giuliani is just doing the politician thing. It's not a party matter -- it's easy to imagine Schumer, for example, doing the same number. I doubt that NYCB or any other ballet company is in any danger, as they're not going to put on anything for the Mayor to object to.

Re "Olympia": I didn't put the same construction on the male divers. The glorification of masculine strength was a cornerstone of Third Reich propaganda -- think of the mass calisthenics showcased in "Triumph of the Will" -- and I can see a straight man shooting the same sequence. But it's not as if Riefenstahl is suggesting that these men are the sum total of their physical attributes; she's saying, Look at what they can do; look how beautiful they are, isn't it awesome, what the human body is capable of. They're not the water bimbos in an Esther Williams opus, grinning vacuously in the chlorine.

#17 Mel Johnson

Mel Johnson

    Diamonds Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,311 posts

Posted 18 February 2001 - 09:32 AM

Originally posted by Leigh Witchel:
I think we have a certain amount of common sense in decisions about free speech.  Oliver Wendell Holmes didn't do a bad job when he said shouting "Fire" in a crowded room isn't protected speech.  


Just a note on one of my favorite misquoted lines. Mr. Justice Holmes did not write that "crying 'fire' in a crowded theater is not protected speech", but rather something more along the lines that "FALSELY crying 'fire' in a crowded theater" was not protected. Indeed, not to so alert the crowd should the subject be actually aware of real fire could be criminal negligence.

Hizzoner may be falsely crying "fire".

#18 Nanatchka

Nanatchka

    Bronze Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 374 posts

Posted 18 February 2001 - 02:43 PM

I was humming "Springtime for Hitler" right from the top of this one. Meanwhile, you know what really depresses me? That the art people have these arguments over is so incredibly crappy.It reminds me of Salmon Rushdie and that unreadable book called The Satanic Verses. You might say the fatwah did him a favor, from a p.r. point of view. But to return to the topic at hand? I haven't been to Brooklyn, and thus cannot venture an aesthetic appreciation (or not) of the latest art to offend our Mayor. However, the photos of the art didn't bother me--not that I would want them censored if they did. But the Catholic Church has a nice tradition of speaking out against art, right along with their tradition of inspiring it. So where were we? Oh, right. First, I don't think the work is really about what it is accused of being about. Second, even if if were, I would't want it censored.(Speaking of bothered, there are NO cockroaches in the works of Merce Cunningham, no matter what Alexandra has implied.) A final note on censorship: Ironically, there is a" Lady Jane Grey" in a once censored work: Lady Chatterley's Lover. She isn't a person; she is a body part.You might want to rethink your signature, all things considered!

#19 Alexandra

Alexandra

    Board Founder

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,271 posts

Posted 18 February 2001 - 03:04 PM

Just to clarify, Nanatchka, I meant the cockroach was like the pillows in "Rain Forest" -- an unpredictable element that changed the work Posted Image

Someone write an email to me that I wish s/he would post Posted Image It's a good point. That if the offensive artwork were deemed offensive to blacks, or another minority group with a loud voice that's listened to by the current Mavens, this would be a different story -- Giuliani may well want it censored, but the left of this controversy would be screaming for it. I do think there's a real bias among many defenders of freedom of artistic expression -- Christian symbols are fair game, much else is not. I think you're either for or against censorship, period. Once we get down to, "This offends me, but not you" it becomes too problematical. But continuing to ignore the concerns of nonprotected minority groups -- Catholics, fundamental Christians, etc. -- doesn't help anything and just makes one "side" think that everything is horribly unfair.

#20 Guest_JaneGrey_*

Guest_JaneGrey_*
  • Unregistered / Not Logged In

Posted 18 February 2001 - 03:49 PM

We dig on Our signature.

Not a chance baby. Not a chance.

There are other perfectly good names, and good words for that matter, that have conciously been sabotaged.

BTW, I when I was 19 (1971)I worked with a woman that was roughly 20 years older than me. When she had "gyn ailments" she referred to the fact that she had problems with her "tutu".

Far as I know, it never kept anyone from wearing one. But it did make her sound a little silly.

As far as this statement:

First, I don't think the work is really about what it is accused of being about.

Per an article in the Washington Post the photographer (Renee Cox) made the statement:

"Get over it" "Why can't a woman be Christ?".

Well, that makes her sound dumb as a box of rocks, doesn't it? She (the lady in the pic) can't possibly be him, because she ISN'T physically like him. Just like she can't be ME. I claimed this skin first. He did by about a few thousand years.

That's as silly as taking a picture of a tall bald white man and telling everybody to "get over it". Why can't he be Harriet Tubman as well as anybody?


------------------
'God grant you all your desires and accept my own hearty thanks for all your attention to me. Although indeed, those attentions have tried me more than death can now terrify me.'

Lady Jane Grey
Wife of Guildford, Lord Dudley King Consort
Daughter of Henry Grey Marquis of Dorset, Duke of Suffolk

[This message has been edited by JaneGrey (edited February 18, 2001).]

[This message has been edited by JaneGrey (edited February 18, 2001).]

#21 salzberg

salzberg

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 115 posts

Posted 18 February 2001 - 04:39 PM

Originally posted by alexandra:
Someone write an email to me that I wish s/he would post   Posted Image  It's a good point.  That if the offensive artwork were deemed offensive to blacks, or another minority group with a loud voice that's listened to by the current Mavens, this would be a different story -- Giuliani may well want it censored, but the left of this controversy would be screaming for it


I can'y speak for my fellow liberals, since we don't march in lockstep, but I, for one, would not be.

Several years ago (at the time that Jesse Helms was first attacking the NEA, I attended a production of Arthur Miller's The Crucible -- the best production of that play I've ever seen -- at a Christian theatre in Houston. After the performance there was a"talkback" and I asked, "How do you, as both Christians and artists, view this play (for those who don't know it, it uses the Salem Witch Trials as a thinly -- and I mean very thinly -- veiled metaphor for the McCarthy hearings) in light of recent attempts by the Christian right to use federal funding to inhibit the content of artistic works?"

The first person to answer hemmed and hawed, but the second attacked the question right between the eyes -- "I do not approve of censorship in any way, shape or form, ever."

I agree with him.

. . .So if someone makes art that reflects badly on Blacks, Jews, or for that matter Texans, I won't like it. I won't pay to see it. . .but I also won't censor it.


------------------
Jeffrey E. Salzberg, Lighting Designer
This Day in Arts History: [url="http://"http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg"]www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg/arthist.htm[/url]
portfolio: [url="http://"http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg"]www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg[/url]
email: salzberg@suncoast.quik.com

#22 Guest_JaneGrey_*

Guest_JaneGrey_*
  • Unregistered / Not Logged In

Posted 18 February 2001 - 05:05 PM

I don't imagine I have as much of a problem with anyone creating ANYTHING as much as I do with issuing invitations to EXHIBIT itat tax payer expense. Because the invitations are given hit and miss. And yes, some groups seem to be game for insult while it is entirely off limits for others.

There is statuary coming down almost daily, because this group or that finds it offensive.

A very large old mural at the Pentagon was recently brought down because some American Indian group found their depiction insulting.

I doubt that any of them are any less works of art today than they were when they were created.

------------------
'God grant you all your desires and accept my own hearty thanks for all your attention to me. Although indeed, those attentions have tried me more than death can now terrify me.'

Lady Jane Grey
Wife of Guildford, Lord Dudley King Consort
Daughter of Henry Grey Marquis of Dorset, Duke of Suffolk

#23 salzberg

salzberg

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 115 posts

Posted 18 February 2001 - 05:20 PM

Originally posted by alexandra:
I think the problem with Giuliani is his attacks are so personal.  He hears about something he doesn't like and then wants to ban it, or withhold funding. That presents an odd definition of art, too -- "The Mayor don't like it."


When I lived in NY (I left at about the time that the first Brooklyn Museum controversy was starting) I thought of him as "Il Duce"; the parallels with Mussolini are striking, including the justification that he's "made the trains run on time".

If Nixon can be the subject of an opera, could we make a ballet about Giuliani?



[This message has been edited by salzberg (edited February 18, 2001).]

#24 Alexandra

Alexandra

    Board Founder

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,271 posts

Posted 18 February 2001 - 05:39 PM

Why not, Jeff? I once had an almost-brilliant libretto for a ballet about our Mayor, Marion Barry, during his drug difficulties. . . .

I'm going to close this thread now. I think the various positions have been stated, and we're just going to keep rehashing old ground. We've had several discussions about censorship recently. It's interesting to keep an eye on things in the general arts world, because they probably will affect ballet in some way, but right now, this isn't a ballet issue.

#25 Alexandra

Alexandra

    Board Founder

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,271 posts

Posted 18 February 2001 - 09:15 PM

A Frequent Poster sent me an email with his views on this topic, having not been on the board during the time the topic was open. Since the responses have been so one-sided, and since his (very articulate Posted Image ) views express the underrepresented side, I thought I'd post them before reclosing the thread.

---------------------------------
kfw (Kenneth Wilson) writes:

On the one hand, I’m willing to believe Andres Serrano when he says that “Piss Christ” wasn’t intended to offend and even had religious meaning for him. But in general, as you noted, the feelings of uncool groups are ignored (mocked is more like it) and that ties in with something else you noted -- the eagerness of some artists to flout rules just for the sake of flouting them. When it comes to publicly desecrating an image other people revere just to shock or make a point, I don't think that's worthy of the name "freedom." I think it’s juvenile bad manners. It’s a kind disrespect akin to racism or genuine, disdainful “homophobia.”

Also, while Guilliani was pretty clumsy in the "Sensation" affair (and I don’t think the Brooklyn Museum should be defunded over an exhibition or two), he wasn’t trying to prohibit the work from being shown at all, only from having it shown at the city’s expense. So I don’t think the stock “censorship” charge is accurate. The issue is whether or not people should have to pay for work that – as in the case of the Cox piece -- is intended to offend them. And really it’s more than that, although I don’t quite have the words. The city rightly takes pride in its cultural institutions and sees them as serving and representing the people of New York. But this is divisive, partisan stuff.

There are many ways to criticize that don’t gratuitously offend, of course. It’s hard to believe Ms. Cox seriously thinks she’s going to change conservative Christian minds with this photo. So I say, 'let her be rude at her own expense.' And to reference the anonymous writer’s point, would those Brooklyn curators who talk about defending free expression exhibit a painting of M.L. King, Jr. smeared with elephant dung and plastered with porno cutouts? I doubt it. I think they’d call it hate speech, something not worthy of their museum. (I first saw and fell in love with the work of Jacob Lawrence there, in ’88. He was an artist who knew how to challenge stereotypes.)



[This message has been edited by alexandra (edited February 18, 2001).]


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):