Friday, June 4, 2010

Censorship--Alive and Well

Censorship is alive and well in the art world. Kaucyila Brooke, who exhibited in Highland Park last month as part of the Sea and Space Exhibitions “Queer Territories” show, had her work, “Tit for Twat” pulled from this year's Bucharest International Biennale for Contemporary Art.

Brooke is a highly respected Los Angeles-based artist whose work has been shown extensively in museums and art galleries throughout Europe and in the United States. She is a member of the faculty at Cal Arts in Los Angeles.

Curator Felix Vogel had formally invited Brooke to participate in BB4. Approximately 45 artists and artists’ groups were invited to show their work at various locations throughout the City of Bucharest, and Brooke was assigned to the Geology Institute. However, after her work was partially installed, the director of the museum demanded it be removed, with no formal explanation given.

“Tit for Twat” is a three-part photomontage, photo novella, gender art narrative designed for both exhibition and publication. Its chapters--Madam and Eve in the Garden, Can We Talk? and It's Not About Shame. Accessorize!--address the biblical presumption of heterosexuality and its relationship to other theories of origin, notions of innovation and origin in history, creationism, science and material culture. The project has been in development since the early 1990s and is considered one of the seminal works in gender-oriented conceptual art of the last two decades.

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