Paul Yore & Artistic Freedom (Or The Lack Of It)
Okay, so today I went trawling the internet for a picture of a young Justin Bieber, holding a fake cock and pissing into a sink, while pearly white tears pour from his smiling eyes. You’d think this kind of image would be difficult to find, but you would be wrong. An artist named Paul Yore has created it, and a bunch of uptight, sexually confused Australians have made it famous.
Why are repressed prigs in suits taking an interest in art featuring an adolescent boy superstar collaged with a rubber cock? Well… don’t answer that. But the troublesome thing is, they did. They really did. In fact, they got so interested in Paul Yore’s obscene, adorable, technicolor art peice, that on Saturday, June 28, 2013, his works were seized by police from the Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts. Yore was released after questioning, but his work was confiscated and he is facing extremely serious child pornography charges.
Obviously, this is a huge problem.
General censorship is bad enough, but when the censors bring their clipboards into our gallery spaces, they actively threaten the potential of our society’s creative mind. It’s healthy and natural for an artist to push boundaries, to offend the sensibilities of the public, and to expect a certain amount of backlash when doing so – but an outraged article in the newspaper is nothing compared to the actual threat of jail time. An artist who creates in fear and under threat is an entirely different creature to one who is empowered by their society to explore the furthest reaches of their fabulous brains.
So, which one are you? What kind of world do you live in? As an artist and a sexual human being, do you feel free?
The topic of this blog post was meant to be about the difference between art and pornography, and whether both, or either, ought to face any kind of censorship at all. That’s a much greater topic than I can wrangle in one blog post, but this exhibition – FECK:ART – intends to give you all the time to consider the question, and come – pun intended – to your own conclusions.
How far can you push this line, artlings? Can you find the line, wrap it around your neck, and give it a good hard tug? Can you create a piece of art to make the locals tut-tut, something that forces us (don’t worry, we like to be forced) to put up a sign in the gallery which warns people that the Feck:Art exhibition might be considered obscene? Can you create something that makes you flush as you’re putting the finishing touches on? Something that makes you cross your legs, bite your lip, and feel a little uncomfortable when you think about it in public?
If you can, please do. We want it to get hot in there. We want to make the censors nervous.
Andy Warhol said – “Art is anything you can get away with.”
So go on. How far can you push it?