The Censorship Of Art Essay Research Paper — страница 2

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governments? interjection and objection) showed that the so-called guaranteed right of freedom of expression was not so guaranteed anymore. This point was proven again by the incident at Kent State University on May 4, 1970, where students rallying against the presidents decision to send troops into Cambodia without declaring war were arrested, beaten, bombed with tear gas, and ultimately shot at by a dozen men armed with M-1 rifles. ?A total of 67 shots were fired in 13 seconds.? Is what it said in on the May 4th Task Force of Kent State University. Four of the students were killed and nine were wounded. The extent the government would go to in order to quell the objective voice was proven that day. The government proves once again, in modern times, that they cannot be

trustworthy of humanities unalterable rights by trying to censor artistic expression. In September 1999 an exhibit called SENSATION went on display at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. One of the artists, Chris Ofili, portrayed a black Madonna adorned with elephant dung and pictures of women?s crotches from porn magazines. New York City Mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, said ? The idea of having so-called works of art in which people are throwing elephant dung at a picture of the Virgin Mary is sick.? What is sick is that the government seems to have the idea that it can make decisions for the nation. Had the Mayor decided to go to the exhibit the mayor would have found out Ofili includes elephant dung in all of the works not just the religious portraits. It would also come to pass to the mayor

that elephant dung symbolizes regeneration to the African culture. The wonderful Mayor then threatened to cut the museum?s funding of about $7 million dollars (a third of the museum’s budget) unless SENSATION was cancelled. Now bad mouthing the exhibit is one thing, but to threaten to cut the funding is another story. In an article that appeared in TIME Daily news: When a Mayor and the Constitution Collide, the article shows how the First amendment is just a notch in the mountains to government officials. What is important to the government is forcing their ideals of morality onto others. ?Monday Federal court judge ruled that the mayor trampled all over the first Amendment in his attempts to remove funding from the Brooklyn Museum of Art because of an exhibit he deemed

offensive.? Guiliani withheld $500,000 a month from the museum from October 1st 1999 until the court hearing which ruled against the mayor. The dictator mayor Guiliani then suggests the board of the museum resign. Time arts writer Steven Madoff said, ? There?s no end to the gall that Guiliani has.? The mayor tried to close down this museum for one single painting? A little harsh one would think. Mrs. Hillary Clinton in a public statement to the press defended the museum saying, ?It?s not appropriate to penalize and punish an institution such as the Brooklyn Museum,? She then added to her statement that she would not go to see this exhibit because she would find certain things offensive. Everything Giuliani tried to do has backfired including the attempt to evict the museum from

the city owned building. What right does any government official have to cut funding to a program in which there are so many artists work, time, and effort? Just on account of one person finding it to be offensive does not mean that everyone else will. What one person sees as tasteless may be tasteful to another. Remember that society does have the option to go and see the work or not to go to see the work. The all-powerful mayor never went to see the exhibit himself, but somehow found the time to criticize it. In a Letter from the Brooklyn Museum of Art Director Arnold L. Lehman he comments on the way SENSATION is a refreshing and attracting part of this exhibit. He stated, ?SENSATION is a part of our plan to revitalize the very concept of how art ? whether traditional or the

most challenging ? can speak to people in their own language?our museum must be central to the topical sociocultural issues, expressed through art, that drive our daily lives.? Art means so many things to so many different people. So how can the government decide what the public wants to see? It has more to do with what the government does not want the public to see. The government is afraid people will see new controversial art and think a thought or two and realize what a laughingstock life has been made due to the need for control. On the National Coalition Against Censorship web site in an article The Long and Short of It, the article reads: ? Mayor Giuliani?s reaction to the Sensation exhibit stimulated a satirical installation from artist Hans Haacke, now on display at the