Sunday, March 11, 2012

Art Under Attack but taking offence doesn't mean one can

claim special rights, or the right to be rude, to defame, to insult, to censor, or threaten with  charges of sexual harassment.
Some people all too easily feel comfortable claiming sexual harassment because they don't like someone's art( As a REAL victim of abuse I find this to be a travesty but that's another story.

Art on Trial 
Here is what happened when one woman found this painting offensive and filed a sexual harassment complaint to the city legal department.

Gwen by Maxine Henderson
Link to Story

On Zoning and Free Speech
"Restrictions on workplace speech must be narrowly tailored to prevent arbitrary enforcement by government officials according to their own personal tastes (see also Zoning Laws and Artistic Expression)."

Is this obscene? As this site states "the definition is often in the eye of the beholder."  The Supreme Court set guidelines in 1973 and "makes clear that nudity alone does not make an image obscene."

Dave Kopel on Sex Harassment Nonsense
"Through the tool of "sexual harassment" complaint, a single person can impose her narrow tastes on an entire community." Also on the site there is a link to  "UCLA Law Professor Eugene Volokh website article Freedom of Speech vs. Workplace Harassment Law — A Growing Conflict, explains how workplace harassment laws are being used to stifle not only artistic expression, but religious, political, and other speech at the core of the First Amendment."

National Coalition Against Censorship

Yellow Springs Links 
 Political Art and Local Issue


Claire ARTIST said...

This is obviously an ART piece. If it were sexual in nature (or erotic art) I could see how it would make people feel "harassed", but nudity does not equal erotic/sexual. I think that is where people in our society tend to get everything twisted. If they can't tell the difference between the two then they themselves have a very serious problem that needs attention, and everyone else and their art should not suffer.

deb said...

well I am glad she doesn't live near me as some of the work I just curated into a show would make her faint!! LOL!!
So, here's a related tale - when my son was in 4th grade I was taking my BFA. His class was using the darkroom at the college where I was studying - so one of the mum's decided to take the kids up to my painting studio area to see what I was up to - I was at the time painting an 8ft canvas of a drowning nude. Oh yeah I was super popular at PTA after that!
My son bless him didn't get all the fuss - as he pointed out we have naked art all over the house - and it is only pictures!!!