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When art is censored

When art is censored

Has history taught us nothing?

Or is it only the elite of power that,
contrary to art, continues to live in the Middle Ages?


Who should decide whether art should be allowed and published or not? And what significance does censorship of art have? Everyone can have their own opinions on art, but for us at BeArte, it is a fact, that art should never be censored by anyone other than the eyes who see it. Your eye’s.

Art has always suffered due to censorship for political or religious reasons. Today, we also experience that the social media sets limits for what can be displayed and what must be censored. Is it acceptable? Should religious men, obscure politicians and robots ruled by men like Mark Zuckerberg decide what we can see? Of course not. It is grotesque and a limitation of our right to develop.

Dalia Split Left
Dalia Split Right

For several years an art video by the polish artist Natalia LL has been displayed at the National Museum in Warsaw, you can watch it here: https://nataliall.com/en/. The title is ‘Consumer Art’ and it was made in 1973 and showed a woman eating a banana. Last week, the artwork was taken down by the museum’s new head, Jerzy Miziolek, after he was summoned to the ministry of culture. In addition a separate 2005 video by another controversial female artist, Katarzyna Kozyra, showing a woman walking two men on all fours, dressed as dogs on a lead, was also removed.

Polish Minister of Culture, Piotr Glinski, may in some ways recall a lighter version of the German propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. Besides Glinski’s absurd way of trying to create a picture of Poland and the world in the (low) height of his beloved leader Jarosław Kaczyński, he must of course not be compared to Nazism. Unfortunately, however, the approach is the same when art, culture and media are to be censored and pushed in one narrow direction.

I myself have seen ‘Consumer Art’ and the artwork did not make me happier or put tragic traces in my soul. Perhaps the work of art does not have a great influence today, as it used to, or perhaps it does not fall into my taste. All of this really doesn’t matter. The artwork is an expression of its time and a way of making us think. It is important for this purpose. In the same way as Monet’s colours and works of light were important at the end of the 19th century, where he was also seen as a provocateur with his paintings.

The greater meaning of the art performed today, we will probably not understand before many years ahead. For what is it, that art is doing and why is it so important? It makes us dare more in life and make us take longer steps in our development as a species. Steps in other directions that we would take usually. It gives us the courage to try new and ask questions about the existing. And therefore, it is dangerous for politicians and religious leaders and therefore it’s important for us as humans. Once art is published, it can no longer be tamed. It makes an impression and creates development, our development.

In a way head of Warsaw National Museum, Jerzy Miziolek is correct when he claims that art affects us. But it is not harmful and when he claims that the art ‘could irritate sensitive young people’, he tries to apologise for his abuse of power. When the particular artwork was performed and presented in 1973, it was part of liberation from rigid old conservative values. The same values as Jerzy Miziolek, Piotr Glinski and Jarosław Kaczyński love today. But do we really want to go back in time? If so, why not go back to the 1930s, where we are already on the road to go with the rising nationalism and totalism, or back to the Stone Age, where we will end if we do not care. The art cannot save our world against stupid old men. But it can make us look out with different perspectives. It can open our minds and it can make us follow other ideas and goals in life. That’s the reason some politicians want to limit art and for the same reason, we fight to keep it free. We believe in freedom; for humans, the art and our development.

Below you can find examples of erotic art from our artists.

Bullet Lips
Couple in Menorca Island by Nacho Gonzalez at BeArte Gallery
Free spirit Svetoslav Stoyanov at BeArte Gallery

About the Author:

When words are used correctly, they can create beautiful meanings and rich phrases. Like art. When the writer does not understand the craft of writing, words become incomprehensible as, for example, 'Covfefe'.

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