Why staging a Stuckist show is also a political statement

Please forgive me for stating the obvious but some things have to be stressed every now and then in order not to allow them to be forgotten. Having the possibility to privately organise an exhibition of unconventional paintings and photographs is a privilege and a fairly new one at that.

Not so long ago in Germany's dark past most of the paintings exhibited in a show like the STUCKOMENTA 3 would have been considered 'degenerate' in the official language of that time. The artists involved could have been subjected to all sorts of abuse, ranging from personal harrassment to imprisonment, or worse.

Even if the term 'degenerate' is not used anymore nowadays many of the paintings shown would be impossible to exhibit in quite a few countries for the simple fact that they contain nudity or other subject matter that is considered 'unsuitable' or 'obscene' there.

Being able to organise a show of paintings without the fear of censorship, without risking negative consequences from official channels is a privilige not shared by the majority of people on planet earth. A good example for censorship still being present today is the fate of Stuckist collage artist Michael Dickinson who was imprisoned in Turkey for making a collage that critisizes the head of state, a thing forbidden in Turkey. (--> details)

Freedom of expression is not a given, and even though one is tempted to take it for granted, it has to be defended and fought for constantly.

If staging an independent art exhibition is helping just a little bit then that is an additional motivation to keep doing what we do.

2 comments:

Nausikaa said...

you're so right! you want to hear what happened in athens at the art fair 3 days ago? there was an art "piece" that got confiscated by the police after someone was bothered by it. (it was a video of a a woman masturbating to the sound of the greek national anthem)the police took the art organiser into custody. there is an outrage to waht happened here! just imagine! not my idea of art but the idea of the police barging into an exhibition and taking art down, is shocking!
the whole point with art is either you like it or you pass it by. isn't that the biggest punishment to the artist?

Frank said...

Was it truly showing the whole act in detail or was the protagonist of said video just acting, pretending to masturbate in order to make whatever statement was intended by the artist ?