Street artists laser graffitti LA MOCA to protest commissioned-then-censored public art

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62 Responses to “Street artists laser graffitti LA MOCA to protest commissioned-then-censored public art”

  1. RandyB5 says:

    With so many pictures like that, it certainly does make one wonder why the critics haven’t asked the Taliban and Al Qaeda to stop fighting.

    It’s rather interesting that the secret WikiLeaks reports also discuss thousands of terrorist attacks on Afghani civilians. And we know where many of those bombs come from, as well as what kinds of people have allied themselves with those who supplied the bombs.

  2. 2HourHiatus says:

    It seems to me that there are a lot of people here who’s sole experience with Blu is this piece. Watch some of his wall-sized animations and maybe you won’t refer to him as derivative and “first year art school”.

  3. RandyB5 says:

    Good grief. Artists don’t own the world, folks.

    Next thing you know, computer programmers are going to start whining when we choose to uninstall their software.

  4. Anonymous says:

    “This war wasn’t about “greedy profiteers warring for money.” Nor was the first Gulf War. As much as people dislike the war in Vietnam, that wasn’t about money either. Nor was Korea or WWII.”

    Excuse me but what cloud are you surfing on? There hasn’t been a war yet where some human hasn’t figured out how to make money off of it. To say that no money was made off of the last admitted wars we’ve waged (not to mention all the covert wars and proxy wars we’ve funded) is to engage in a perverse propaganda of your own making or just outright lying

    Please, don’t shame the people who suffered and died in war by pretending that the US is somehow magically different than every other nation that wages war for fun and profit. You obviously have no clue as to your own history and are willfully ignorant about the realities of why wars are fought in the first place. WTFU

  5. mgfarrelly says:

    While it’s sad this protest had to happen at all, it speaks volumes to the way technology has empowered artists, especially artists speaking to controversies.

    The work was whitewashed, and yet there it is again, up on the wall courtesy of a projector, along with the comments of support from fellow artists.

    All that tech is consumer-grade. Probably cheaper, and more effective, to kit out a laser-graf set-up than break out the oils and canvases.

  6. waterboy100 says:

    the times article is interesting where they talk about how they did the graffiti with a projector and “laser-gun” hooked up to a computer.

    also, it isn’t censorship. the museum paid a man to paint something, then decided they didn’t like it and paid someone else to paint over it.

  7. Tracks says:

    It may be censorship, but no one really has any right to be upset about it. Clients who don’t like work that is done for them have the right to refuse it or remove it. Blu was paid for his work, so the mural was the property of Deitch to do with what he wants.

    I mean, I’m anti-war, and I would definitely have painted over that- it’s ugly.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Excellent comment, #8 (Donald). While I haven’t done any public art, I have been very disappointed with the use/treatment and/or and public display of work I’ve sold, which is also patronage in the minds of some and is the reason one of my painter-friends has refused to sell though he has had many offers from galleries.

    Here, there is the issue of art, as you said, reminiscent of Rivera/Rockefeller, and the issue of property. In America, property rules (see Scott v. Sanford, “Dred Scott” case, in which it was decided that the slave, Dred Scott was not a person but a chattel)

    It’s the old “public speech on private property” issue, supposedly settled for once and for always in Robins v. Pruneyard, and it is a knotty Constitutional issue. In the absence of adhering to any absolutism in regards to the fundamental concepts of the freedoms it espouses–equality being primary–the Constitution in its truest form protects property rights and property owners over all else. Without the Bill of Rights, average people would have very few protections from this so-called limited *self-created* government; their circumstances were not a consideration of the Founders. The fact is, freedom begins and ends at the boundaries of private property, as do most of our other rights.

    It may also interest you to know that law enforcement is part of the executive branch of the government–it ‘executes’ the laws the government creates–and was created to protect the *rights of property owners*; it is composed of para-military organizations with no obligation or requirement to protect Jane or John Doe; truth-telling is not mandated and coercion by lying is standard official procedure. Just FYI!

  9. Mister44 says:

    So I looked up this “Blu” and realized I have seen and liked some of his other works, especially the animations.

    That said this mural was still just awful.

    Am I the only one who find the irony that when he makes those animations his work is constantly ‘white washed’ to make the next frame?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone here really know why they took it down?

  11. EeyoreX says:

    It seems that the mural is resurrected virtually in Second Life:

    https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/Free-Blu-mural-censored-at-MOCA/1792461?preview=true

  12. Anonymous says:

    No, the ONLY reason we’re making war is money. Our “very real enemies” aren’t being stopped by the genocide in Afghanistan and Iraq, we’re just creating MORE hate, MORE anger. Our blind support of the apartheid regime in Isreal, our bigotry towards Muslims in our own country, the sick violations of every standard of decency in our treatment of accused “terrorists”, if we wanted to intentionally create an atmosphere where Arabs targeted the US, that’s what you’d want to do.
    From long before the time the USA became a nation, empire building and hoarding of wealth were THE reasons we took up arms. The times we’ve genuinely fought for “Freedom” or to protect our nation against foreign invaders are indeed very few and far between. Instead, we’ve had everything from the vomitous disgrace of Vietnam to our support for the assassination of elected leaders in Latin America so we can put in vicious dictators who are friendly to Wall Street.
    The powers that be have silenced the anti-war movement to the point that it would surprise few if most people think EVERYONE supports the war, or has just forgotten about it. Mainstream media coverage of anti-war voices is virtually non-existent. If the art world isn’t allowed to speak out against this illegal and destructive war, who will?

  13. Anonymous says:

    I assume the artist waived his moral rights to the work as a condition of accepting the commission?

    California has very strict artists’ rights laws preventing the destruction of a work like this.

    http://www.owe.com/visualartistsrights.html

    • Anonymous says:

      rights of integrity prevent grossly negligent destruction, but they dont apply to murals, as they cannot be removed from the gallery without destroying them or erasing them.

      read it yourself.

  14. Anonymous says:

    If the owner of the wall can’t claim the right to paint over his property then the artist can’t claim copyrights to his work. Can’t have it both ways.

  15. Antinous / Moderator says:

    First of all, MOCA does receive some government funding, so it’s not a private business. Second, it’s in desperate financial straits and commissioning, then destroying, a mural should get the director fired, if not impaled. Third, any art museum that finds that to be offensive needs a visit from Tyler Durden. You might accuse the mural of being derivative, but it’s far less offensive than much political art in public and private collections around the world.

    If LA MOCA is trying to go out of business, it’s doing everything right.

    • spincycle says:

      > “First of all, MOCA does receive some government funding, so it’s not a private business.”

      I disagree with MOCA’s action here, and I say that this IS censorship (blocking of speech/expression is censorship if the blocking is done by ANY authority, not just government) in the strongest terms, but saying that MOCA is not a private entity this is nonsense.

      Any number of private entities receive government funding and are still “private” entities. Xe (nee Blackwater) “receives government funding”, so it’s “not a private business”? Private universities receive government fundung…and are still private entities.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        Any number of private entities receive government funding and are still “private” entities.

        There’s a difference between selling a product or service to the government and receiving compensation and ‘government funding’. When you receive taxpayer dollars as a gift, you lose some of your right to autonomy in business practices.

        Private universities receive government funding…and are still private entities.

        And they are forced to comply with a vast set of rules and regulations or lose that funding.

  16. Anonymous says:

    There was a beautiful, impressive, anti-war mural there, and now it’s gone. It just makes me sad. How can anyone say I don’t have the right to feel that way?

  17. jenjen says:

    Artists retain “moral rights” over their work, and this can include murals. The fact the work was paid for as art makes it seem to me even MORE of a problem to destroy it than if it were just guerilla street art that the building owner could claim was vandalism. It would be interesting to know what kind of contract Blu signed for this work and whether he has any grounds to sue MOCA for destroying his work.
    See
    http://www.lamurals.org/MCLATechnical/Solomon1.html

  18. Anonymous says:

    Deitch stated that there is a Japanese American veteran memorial across from the the wall the mural was on, and that it was also in view of the Veterans Affairs building. He told the LA Times, “This is 100% about my effort to be a good, responsible, respectful neighbor in this historic community. Out of respect for someone who is suffering from lung cancer, you don’t sit in front of them and start chain smoking.”

    In my opinion, it was such a bad mural. So derivative. He got paid to paint it in MOCA?

    • petsounds says:

      Deitch stated that there is a Japanese American veteran memorial across from the the wall the mural was on, and that it was also in view of the Veterans Affairs building. He told the LA Times, “This is 100% about my effort to be a good, responsible, respectful neighbor in this historic community. Out of respect for someone who is suffering from lung cancer, you don’t sit in front of them and start chain smoking.”

      Wait, what? Deitch is saying that he doesn’t want to offend Veterans Affairs? It is not an affront to the service of our soldiers. It is a discussion of the REASONS they’re in that hellhole which was the attempted subject of the mural, creative merit aside, and it is our DUTY as citizens of this supposed democracy that we challenge the reasons we have sent our men and women over there. Deitch has no right to direct MOCA; he’s obviously a man that lacks any intestinal fortitude. He is the kind of man which is most dangerous to a democracy: one that cowers in the face of a question.

      • querent says:

        “He is the kind of man which is most dangerous to a democracy: one that cowers in the face of a question.”

        My god man. Way to make all my ramblings seem piddling and inefficacious. Let those with ears to hear….

      • Mister44 says:

        re: “and it is our DUTY as citizens of this supposed democracy that we challenge the reasons we have sent our men and women over there.”

        That may be our civic duty, but is it the duty of MOCA? Art and the MOCA serve the public. Could such a large and polarizing work cross the line from art to propaganda? If it were a pro-war piece, would it be any more or less appropriate?

        • petsounds says:

          That may be our civic duty, but is it the duty of MOCA? Art and the MOCA serve the public. Could such a large and polarizing work cross the line from art to propaganda? If it were a pro-war piece, would it be any more or less appropriate?

          Are you saying then that we should remove all art which engages in political thought should be removed from art museums? Gods no. Museums don’t endorse viewpoints of art. They endorse the discourse, emotional, political and otherwise, contained within the pieces they display. Or at least I’d hope they would. Mr. Deitch seems to have a different philosophy about art’s role in society. If a museum isn’t a vanguard of ideas, what purpose does it serve in society? Pretty pictures and first dates?

          • Mister44 says:

            re: “Are you saying then that we should remove all art which engages in political thought should be removed from art museums?”

            I didn’t say that. Having an exhibit inside is different. In fact you can have an exhibit that out right features propaganda. I think murals have to be thought out, as because of their size and viability. It is easy for them to cross over from art to propaganda or advertisement.

            If one were to put a pic of Bush on the side that says “Vote Bush”, it could be interpreted as ironic or as propaganda.

            If one put up a Nike sneaker, is it art or advertisement?

            Not to say that one can’t have a controversial or propaganda-esque mural, but I don’t think one cowardly if they decide they don’t want it on there after all.

            re:”Museums don’t endorse viewpoints of art”

            That isn’t entirely true. I’ve worked at two different ones, and they defiantly play favorites and present the works, movements, and styles they favor.

            re: “maybe you won’t refer to him as derivative and “first year art school”.”

            If Michelangelo put up that mural, it would still look like first year student work. It was unoriginal and poorly executed. Maybe the rest of his stuff is fucking awesome – but this was not.

  19. Uncle Geo says:

    …And the mural may not have been explicitly about going to war for money but that companies like Halliburton and Blackwater billed the taxpayer for all sorts of things that had nothing to do with winning a war and that may have, in fact, put soldiers lives at risk -ex: the empty caravans of semis, protected by our soldiers, that did runs simply because it was profitable to do so.

    • RandyB5 says:

      Anon and Uncle Geo,

      I never said no one ever made money off of wars. What I said was that the purpose of the wars I mentioned, including these current ones, were not money. We have very real enemies.

      But, yes, people do make money off of everything. (Correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t Blu supposed to be paid for his mural? There’s nothing wrong with that either.) This isn’t to say war is ever good for the economy; it’s not. That would be a lot like saying we could boost the economy if the government bought recent model used cars and destroyed them.

      This sounds at first like it’s off topic, but it’s not. You can believe that wars are fought for money if you like. Blu obviously does. The real question is, should the museum put such a single point of view on their outside wall? And if they decide not to, whose choice should that be?

      • travtastic says:

        We have very real enemies.

        So that would be the people who make trillions off of genocide, right? Or are we talking about the Islamic terror-mongers around every corner?

        • Mister44 says:

          OK, drama llama, who is making trillions off of genocide.

          • travtastic says:

            Are you serious?

          • RandyB5 says:

            He sounded like he wanted to know. You need to realize that some of us don’t read enough graphic novels.

            I’m sure it’ll be educational.

          • travtastic says:

            Well, okay. Let’s start.

            First, rich people get certain kinds of other people all riled up about some phantom threat to their safety. Then, a bunch of teenagers are given guns.

            These kids then kill other kids, men, women and children in a place far enough away that you think it’s abstract. These people tend to be of a different race than the aggressor’s armed children, and many of them are killed.

            All the while, this other abstract concept called money is required. This paper-like substance is taken from the citizenry, often in the form of a ’1′ followed by 9-12 ’0′s. It is given to the private corporations that make all the things necessary to kill large numbers of people that have a different skin color. Strangely enough, this money is then placed gently into bank accounts already overfilling with an electronic intermediary for this ‘money’.

          • RandyB5 says:

            You forgot to explain why these rich people picked military contracts instead of infrastructure, civilian aerospace, etc. Nor did you explain what their other rich friends are saying to them when they’re promoting a drag on the economy, like war, that messes up their other investments, which are a far greater share of the economy. For that matter, much of military spending would be spent regardless whether or not there is a war.

            Nor did you explain how these certain rich people managed to get most of the Afghans to favor our side while, at the same time, the Iranians are sending more arms to our enemies so that the war continues for years longer than it needed to. Note that the Iranians are allies of Hugo Chavez, whose supporters claim to “oppose” the war. It’s interesting to that see Hugo Chavez and his supporters are, in fact, on the side that wants the war to continue. I wonder how these rich people managed to pull that off.

          • travtastic says:

            It’s funny, because I wonder which parallel universe you live in where any of that is logical.

          • RandyB5 says:

            Not only is it logical, the numbers add up. The balance sheet is pretty important if you’re going to cite greed.

            Plus: It’s sometimes fun, if also very sad, to point to Hugo Chavez. Those entangling alliances will continue to be a problem for those who claim to oppose war.

          • travtastic says:

            Before I met you, I never realized that the majority of Afghanis support having their houses blown up by drones. Go figure.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Seller beware: you might sell your stuff to DICKS.

  21. Jonathan Badger says:

    I have to give this guy “Blu” credit; from the looks of the mural, the guy’s skills are rather limited — the coffins aren’t well rendered and look like something someone sketched out in 30 seconds — Goya’s “Disasters of War” it ain’t. If he had painted something this bad that was uncontroversial, nobody would know about the work or have heard of him. But a crappy mural that was yet controversial enough to remove? Brilliant. He’s achieved fame well beyond his talent.

  22. Grognard says:

    The piece was cliched, and screamed “fist year art student” like most of what passes for “art” these days. But that’s besides the point… Deitch had every right to remove it.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Also, Deitch said in the LA Times article that he was unaware of the content of the mural beforehand and he was planning on going over the content when Blu arrived from Italy. Blu ended up postponing the trip to a time when Deitch was expected out of town to work on another show. Blu was staying at Deitch’s house and when Deitch arrived Blu was half way through the mural. Deitch told him he would have to remove it for the sake of his neighbors over dinner at his home. Blu agreed to finish the mural so it could be in the show’s catalog. He was also given the opportunity to put up a different mural, but declined to return Italy.

  24. Uncle Geo says:

    It’s a lame excuse to pull it down because it’s close to a war memorial. It honors all veterans when an anyone points out that the lives of our brave sons and daughters are most precious and should never be sacrificed for greedy profiteers warring for money.

    As to a museum’s responsibility, Petsounds nails it:

    “Museums don’t endorse viewpoints of art. They endorse the discourse, emotional, political and otherwise, contained within the pieces they display.”

    • RandyB5 says:

      Uhh, not everyone believes these lives were “sacrificed for greedy profiteers warring for money.”

      That museum has as much of a right to decide what goes on their outside wall as this site does in moderating our posts. I’d say it’s even more important given that we’re talking about a very large outside wall.

      • travtastic says:

        Well, there’s opinion and then there’s reality. Some people’s views are factually incorrect. If the parents of a dead vet think their child died to preserve freedom and honor, that’s one of the incorrect ones.

  25. Donald Petersen says:

    a clear act of censorship and a blow to our freedom of speech.

    Censorship? Sure, you bet. That it was. But a blow to our freedom of speech? I dunno about y’all, but to my mind that kind of stretches the limits of the whole artist/patron relationship.

    I won’t have been the first to notice the similarity here to the Rockefeller/Rivera kerfuffle. Somebody with money and a wall hires an artist to create an opus upon that wall. Artist paints something that turns out to be somewhat outside the patron’s expectations. Patron gets vexed, decides to eliminate the opus (with sledgehammers or buckets of whitewash, whichever suits his temperament), since after all, it’s his wall and his commission, the underlying assumption being it’s his objet d’art to dispose of as he sees fit. Not a very evolved attitude in this day and age, especially for an art museum director, but what the hell… it’s not like they don’t have at least one wobbly leg to stand on.

    This reminds me of those people who dug up and relocated that Banksy graffito on the broken wall of the old Packard plant in Detroit, which showed up here in Boingtown last summer. It seems that at some point, a work of art ceases to become the property of the the fella who owns the canvas and paid for the paints and labor. I myself am reluctant to hand over the pink slip of my rusty old ’49 Mercury to the talented young scamp who painted the badass flamejob on the hood, but that doesn’t seem too far removed from the discussion at hand. At what point does an artist’s creation break free from the ownership of its commissioner, and become the rightful property of the artist? At what point, indeed, does the artwork become so important to worldwide culture and art history itself that the artist loses claim to its ultimate disposition? Remember Nabokov’s “The Original of Laura”? Suppose it had turned out to be the greatest thing he’d ever written? He wanted that unfinished manuscript destroyed upon his death, but his family was kinda understandably hesitant, and eventually published it a year or so ago. Turned out everyone hated it, but had it been the best fragment he’d ever written, would it have been morally defensible to preserve and publish it, contrary to the wishes of the artist himself? And did the quality even matter?

    Whatever… I’m rambling (as usual). I don’t think it’s really questionable whether Deitch censored the mural; he certainly did. But I don’t agree that that particular act of censorship infringed anyone’s freedom of speech. Really, am I free to stroll down to MOCA and paint whatever I want on their walls? No, in fact I’m not… and I am not in fact repressed thereby. The protesters are apparently free to protest, shining their laser-graffiti-projection doohickey at the offending wall, and I think that’s brilliant. Not only because the technology itself is clever and witty, but because they get their point across with no harm done. Five years ago, somebody might have just tagged their protestations onto the wall with paint, which would be kind of a drag.

    I kinda doubt we’ll ever get to the point where an artist/patron agreement will include legal language that removes from the patron all rights of removal, alteration, obfuscation, or destruction of the artwork… such language might chill the enthusiasm of many deep-pocketed patrons who are unaccustomed to ceding absolutely all creative control to clever yet penniless bohemians with no MBAs. I do not refer to original works that fall under the VARA act referred to in the link posted by Anon #7 above; apparently “works made for hire” are specifically excluded from VARA protection (unless I’m reading it wrong and they’re not protected under California law alone).

    One of the points made by last winter’s Citizens United Supreme Court case was that money = speech in a very real sense, and that preventing people (or corporations) from utilizing money to get their point across does fall under the umbrella of restricting their speech. I myself am not inclined to agree that a corporation like News Corp or ExxonMobil needs to enjoy a constitutionally-protected right to spend whatever amount it can spare on election campaign financing and advertising, but the nine justices did not solicit my vote. I’m much more inclined to believe that defunding an artist is tantamount to silencing a valuable voice, but I really do believe that if an artist seeks support from a patron, then that patron effectively has a leash upon that artist. The leash might be long and lightweight, and the patron may never choose to pull it, but that choice is not up to the artist. If the artist wishes to avoid wearing that leash altogether, then the artist should avoid patronage and commissioned works.

    Ours is not an idealistic world. Alas.

  26. Mister44 says:

    Rather short sighted of MOCA to commission and put something up that they have more or less instant second thoughts about. That said, it isn’t censorship. Hes free to buy or lease a building/wall and put up that mural again. MOCA just didn’t want it on theirs for what ever reason.

    Maybe because it sucked. I found it rather contrived and blase. I’ve seen better first year student work.

  27. DWittSF says:

    So, the MOCA sympathizers would have, by extension, sided with John D. Rockefeller, when he destroyed Diego Rivera’s masterpiece ‘Man, Controller of the Universe’ in Rockefeller Center, due to the presence of Lenin and ‘communist leanings’:

    http://dossierjournal.com/look/painting/man-at-the-crossroads-and-man-controller-of-the-universe/

    The issue is not whether Deitch has the right to do this, but rather, his attempted expropriation of Street Art for gallery consumption. Deitch wanted to rip off the zeitgeist, but wasn’t prepared to accept a real expression of it. Poseur.

  28. querent says:

    I got an old friend in that video (what up Vyle? It’s Will, Myke’s friend!), and I wanna send him a link, but I’m ashamed of much of the BB community’s comments on this.

    AN ANTI-WAR MURAL WAS LITERALLY WHITEWASHED. Double-speak, partly, making a very simple issue seem complex.

    @Chupacabra, 18

    “I am now free to either display these works of art, or blast them to shards with my trusty Red Ryder BB Gun as I see fit.”

    You ignore the political content of the work, and the semi-public nature of the patron. And you’d have to expect the artist and their friends to get pissed and fuck with you, no?

    • Chupacabara says:

      “You ignore the political content of the work, and the semi-public nature of the patron. And you’d have to expect the artist and their friends to get pissed and fuck with you, no?”

      Never made one comment about the political content of the piece or the right of the artist and his little band of buddies to get pissed.

      My Comment, which you refer to, is purely about the misuse of the word “CENSORSHIP”. There was no Censorship here. The artist is free to buy his own big ass wall and paint it again. He can do it on a canvas, He could probably do it on a billboard if his band of friends will help pony up the cash. He was NOT censored. He was commissioned to do a work, which was supposed to be discussed before hand. It wasn’t. He was then told the piece was unacceptable, and was given the opportunity to do another piece, and he declined.

      Where’s the issue?

      And I addressed the “Semi-Public nature of the patron” with my comment regarding Semi-government funded NPR.

  29. Uncle Geo says:

    I think history shows countless examples of wars being fought for riches or power or religion or ideology or just plain vanity -present day not excluded.

    Even more disturbing is an absurd notion that surfaces from time to time that, because people died in a war, the war must therefore have been legitimate to begin with, otherwise our soldiers died for nothing. There is no logic to this, just a circular argument.

    • RandyB5 says:

      History may show that, but we’re not talking about all the wars in history.

      This war wasn’t about “greedy profiteers warring for money.” Nor was the first Gulf War. As much as people dislike the war in Vietnam, that wasn’t about money either. Nor was Korea or WWII.

      • Uncle Geo says:

        I see nothing in the linked article or some other links from that article as to what war this is referring to. Then again, I don’t live in LA, maybe the reporting there mentioned one.

        Maybe the war in question was one where profiteers put aside greed in favor of patriotic duty. Couldn’t be Iraq, obviously, but maybe some other. Rare, but I suppose possible.

  30. RandyB5 says:

    As a matter of fact, the majority of Afghanis (69%) do indeed support having terrorists’ houses blown up by drones.

    But it doesn’t have to happen. Al Qaeda and Taliban could lay down their arms and support elections. The Iranians could ask them to, and could refuse to supply any more arms. Hugo Chavez could ask the Iranians to support peace. And his many supporters over here could insist that Chavez take that position. But they chose not to do so.

    • travtastic says:

      I know. We’re just in an awkward position, trying to do the right thing.

      Those derned turrorists keep hiding in buildings full of unarmed women and children. But if we stop bombing innocent people, all the normal Afghanis will stop pelting us with flowers and thank yous for bringing a sparkling new decade of war to their country.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Yes, we’ve all known Deitch was a weasel since way back. Ha-ha, the old back-fire. I probably would have never seen the mural had he not censored it.

  32. Anonymous says:

    http://koduma.com/ ART > BY > KODUMA
    STREET ARTIST ROC ON >

  33. swankgd says:

    “Clear act of censorship”?

    Please name the government body that forced Deitch’s hand? Name the law that was passed that stifled his free speech.

    This is a simple matter of a private curator recognizing that plastering a satire of military coffins within view of a memorial to fallen soldiers was offensive in a way that did nothing to add to the show, and would only serve to rile people it was not intended to rile.

    Freedom from censorship does NOT mean that people are not allowed to edit themselves when they realize they’re being offensive (intended or not) for no good reason.

  34. Chupacabara says:

    Censorship? Blow to freedom of speech? Not even close.

    Say I commission a master glass blower to create a set of glass baubles for me… The commission is completed. The artist is paid.

    I am now free to either display these works of art, or blast them to shards with my trusty Red Ryder BB Gun as I see fit.

    The artist may be pissed. I may be an idiot for destroying the artworks… but Censorship? Please….

    And Antinous – “There’s a difference between selling a product or service to the government and receiving compensation and ‘government funding’. When you receive taxpayer dollars as a gift, you lose some of your right to autonomy in business practices.”

    Really? Then care to explain how NPR should continue receiving federal funding of ANY level with the decidedly partisan bent they have.

    MOCA may indeed be on the road to ruin… but Censorship this aint.

    You want to make sure a word becomes useless and something the masses easily ignore… simply keep using it in the wrong context.

    Boy who cried “WOLF!” anyone?

  35. huntsu says:

    I have to agree with swankgd that the curator was well within their rights to erase the mural, but disagree that this was not censorship.

    It violated no laws, nor the Constitution, but still it was the censoring of expression the same as if parents were checking their kids’ Facebook pages and erasing things they don’t like. Not government censorship, but censorship just the same.

  36. querent says:

    That’s fucked up. I didn’t know about it. In no way does that make this not fucked up.

    You got any info on who’s responsible? My friend Vyle is a visual artist, and the censorship of other visual artists likely strikes close to home for him. I’m a writer, and the censorship of other writers strikes close to home for me.

    But I don’t understand the emotional response of you and others here. Why get huffy while defending literal white-washers? What the hell?

    And I’d guess Antinous would agree to the necessity of said visit. If there was a post (and hit the submit a link button, yo) on the censorship of Mark Twain’s work, you’d find me and many others who here condemn this…well…you’d find us there condemning that. Shit, man, I don’t see why THIS is different for YOU. (You ask why that is different for us, and it’s not.)

    But whatever. Street artists don’t need to convince anyone, really. They got the balls of anarchist poets. Peace out.

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