Art News


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  How much more symbolic can you get?...

Facebook censors France's iconic artwork, Liberty Leading the People

Link Here 19th March 2018  full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor
ugene delacroix le 28 juillet. la liberte guidant le peupleFacebook has admitted a ghastly mistake after it banned an advert featuring French artist Eugène Delacroix's famous work, La Liberté guidant le peuple, because it depicts a bare-breasted woman.

The 19th-century masterpiece was featured in an online campaign for a play showing in Paris when it was blocked on the social networking site this week, the play's director Jocelyn Fiorina said:

A quarter of an hour after the advert was launched, it was blocked, with the company telling us we cannot show nudity.

He then posted a new advert with the same painting with the woman's breasts covered with a banner saying censored by Facebook, which was not banned.

As always when Facebook's shoddy censorship system is found lacking, the company apologised profusely for its error.


  Facebook, you are what you ban...

A teacher wins a rather symbolic court victory in France over Facebook who banned Gustave Courbet's 1866 painting, The Origin of the World.

Link Here 19th March 2018  full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor
lorigine du monde by gustav courbetA teacher wins a rather symbolic court victory in France over Facebook, who banned Gustave Courbet's 1866 painting L'Origine du monde (The Origin of the World).

After a seven year legal battle, a French court has ruled that Facebook was wrong to close the social media account of educator Frédéric Durand without warning after he posted an image of Gustave Courbet 's 1866 painting The Origin of the World .

While the court agreed that Facebook was at fault, the social media giant does not have to pay damages. The court ruled that there was no damage because Durand was able to open another account.

Durand was not impressed, he said:

We are refuting this, we are making an appeal, and we will argue in the court of appeal that, actually, there was damage.

Durand's lawyer, Stéphane Cottineau, explained that when the social network deleted Durand's account in 2011, he lost his entire Facebook history, which he didn't use for social purposes, but rather to share his love of art, particularly of street art and the work of contemporary living painters.


  They can't tell art from arse...

Another in the long lists of shoddy Facebook censorship decisions

Link Here 1st March 2018  full story: Facebook Censorship...Facebook quick to censor
venus of willendorfCases of art censorship on Facebook continue to surface. The latest work deemed pornographic is the 30,000 year-old nude statue famously known as the Venus of Willendorf, part of the Naturhistorisches Museum (NHM) collection in Vienna. An image of the work posted on Facebook by Laura Ghianda, a self-described artivist, was removed as inappropriate content despite four attempts to appeal the decision.

The NHM reacted to Ghianda's Facebook post in January, requesting that Facebook allow the Venus to remain naked. There has never been a complaint by visitors concerning the nakedness of the figurine, says Christian Koeberl, the director general of NHM. There is no reason to cover the Venus of Willendorf and hide her nudity, neither in the museum nor on social media.


  The Image of Spain...

Artwork highlighting political prisoners in Spain is censored

Link Here 22nd February 2018
24 political prisonersMadrid's International Contemporary Art Fair (ARCO) has pulled a photo exhibition called Political Prisoners in Contemporary Spain amid controversy because it includes images of Catalan politicians that are currently in jail.

The decision to remove the exhibition within hours of the art fair opening to the press has been attributed to censorship. The exhibition space is government funded so sensitivities have to be observed.

The polemic exhibit contained 24 black and white portraits by Spanish conceptual artist Santiago Sierra, displayed in the stand assigned to the Helga de Alvear gallery.

Gallery organisers were asked to remove the exhibit on Wednesday just hours after a press preview ahead of the art fair opening to the public.


 Offsite Article: Body positive art seen in a negative light...

Link Here 18th February 2018
minnesota body positive PC confusion in Minnesota

See article from


 Commented: PC nymphs tempt society to its doom...

Manchester Art Gallery censors classic Pre-Raphaelite painting to prevent men from gazing on the naked female form

Link Here 7th February 2018
waterhouse hylas and the nymphsManchester Art Gallery has censored a historic artwork seemingly in response to #MeToo concerns about men gazing on naked women.

John William Waterhouse's painting Hylas and the Nymphs was painted in 1896 and depicts pubescent, naked nymphs tempting a handsome young man to his doom.  It is one of the most recognisable of the pre-Raphaelite paintings.

Although framing the decision as some sort of prompt for a debate, the censorship seems permanent as the gallery has also announced that will also be erased from the post card selection in the gallery shop.

Clare Gannaway, the gallery's 'curator' of contemporary art, explained the censorship on grounds of political correctness. She spoke about the work, and related paintings which were exhibited in a room titled In Pursuit of Beauty :

The title was a bad one, as it was male artists pursuing women's bodies, and paintings that presented the female body as a passive decorative art form or a femme fatale.

For me personally, there is a sense of embarrassment that we haven't dealt with it sooner. Our attention has been elsewhere ... we've collectively forgotten to look at this space and think about it properly. We want to do something about it now because we have forgotten about it for so long.

She added that the debates around Time's Up and #MeToo had fed into the decision.

She also invented a bizarre take on "I don't believe in censorship...BUT...". She claimed

The aim of the removal was to provoke debate, not to censor. It wasn't about denying the existence of particular artworks. [ ...BUT... it was about preventing men from gazing on the female form].

The response so far has been mixed. Some have said it sets a dangerous precedent, while others have called it po-faced and politically correct.

I particularly enjoyed a blunt reader comment on a miserable Guardian editorial piece   supporting the censorship. TheGreatRonRafferty commented:

Nope, it's censorship. The reason it has been removed is because it shows women's breasts, but now we're being fed bunkum, because those who would hide women's breasts aren't willing to say so.

And an the subject of journalistic accuracy, Andrew Sutton wrote to the Guardian:

Your arts correspondent, Mark Brown, repeatedly refers to Waterhouse as a Pre-Raphaelite. Waterhouse was a prominent Victorian painter contemporary with the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood, but was never a member and to refer to him as such is just plain wrong.

Update: Censorship reversed

3rd February 2018. See  article from

manchester council logoManchester Art Gallery said the censored painting will be back on display on Saturday, seemingly on council orders. It's been clear that many people feel very strongly about the issues raised, Manchester City Council said.

Critics have been robustly  condemning the curators for being puritanical and politically correct.

The gallery's interim director Amanda Wallace said:

We were hoping the experiment would stimulate discussion, and it's fair to say we've had that in spades - and not just from local people but from art-lovers around the world.

Throughout the painting's seven day absence, it's been clear that many people feel very strongly about the issues raised, and we now plan to harness this strength of feeling for some further debate on these wider issues.

Presumably the politically correct curators have been living in their own little Guardian reading filter bubble and simply didn't realise how few people supported their views on the censorship of art.

Offsite Comment: Perhaps a little sensitivity training for the staff of the gallery might be in order

4th February 2018.  See  article from by Kevin Childs, a lecturer on art history

The IndependentThe gallery is on tricky ground. Was it censoring Waterhouse's painting? Gannaway says no, but how else do you describe the removal of an artwork because someone objects to its subject matter on the grounds of a debate that actually has nothing to do with it? Perhaps a little sensitivity training for the staff of the gallery might be in order.

...Read the full article from

Offsite Comment: The new puritans waging war on art

7th February 2018. See  article from

Spiked logoThe belief that art needs to be contextualised in this way is not only deeply patronising -- it is also opening up a gap between the art world and the public. Mounting their moral high horses, curators and critics see the role of the arts as one of correcting the way people think about the world -- to make people see the world as it is seen by these elites: riven by gender bias, racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, corporate corruption, environmental irresponsibility, and so forth.

...Read the full article from


 Offsite Article: Caravaggio killed a man. Should we therefore censor his art?...

Link Here 4th February 2018
caravaggio desposition from the cross 1797 To remove art because it is tainted by the sins of its maker sets an impossible standard for art institutions. Yet that is what is happening. By Svetlana Mintcheva

See article from


 Offsite Article: Moralist Upsurge in Brazil Revives Censorship of the Arts...

Link Here 30th January 2018
brazil 2018 The offensive affects the artistic world in general, not just the shows or exhibitions that have been directly cancelled in recent months.

See article from


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