YouTube user AdamLore posted a video on his channel November 8, 2009 of John Cage performing his seminal piece 4’ 33”, a piece of music in which the famed minimalist composer placed a stopwatch on his piano and did nothing for the specified length of time. The twist to the Youtube version is that the audio has apparently been excised from the video, leaving John Cage’s performed “silence” as real, literal silence. The censorship is apparently courtesy of Warner Music Group, with a tagline below the video claiming “NOTICE This video contains an audio track that has not been authorized by WMG. The audio has been disabled.” But is that the real story?
Molly Norris has been told by the FBI that she needs to change her name and go into hiding because of a cartoon she drew making fun of Comedy Central for censoring South Park. I don’t know what to do about it, but I’m not going to respond by making a cartoon ridiculing Muslims. Maybe I’ll ridicule terrorists and their sponsors, but they just don’t listen to me. Back in May, Hrag wrote about Molly Norris and the stir it caused. I see I clicked Like, and its a good article, but I remember being bothered by Everybody Draw Mohammed Day, and not wanting to participate in it.
The Arizona Republic reports, “A group of artists has been asked to lighten the faces of children depicted in a giant public mural at a Prescott school. The project’s leader says he was ordered to lighten the skin tone after complaints about the children’s ethnicity.”
When people start telling other people what they can and cannot draw then we have a problem. Yesterday’s “Everyone Draw Mohammed Day!” made it clear that some religious fundamentalists need to be told to mind their own business and stop policing other people’s culture.
Remember that insane story about the Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli handing out new lapel pins to staff with the state seal covered up with an armored breastplate? Arts writer Tyler Green dreams up a snarky scenario where the Virginia attorney general’s disdain for female nudity reaches the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond.
Writing for the Guardian, Sean O’Hagan is wondering how our recent laws governing privacy and surveillance are impacting the art form we’ve come to know as Street Photography.
Indian painter Maqbool Fida Husain has accept Qatari citizenship but the issues around his story are complex. Often depicted as a straight-forward case of censorship, reporters often gloss over the fact that the painter, often called the “Picasso of India,” has chosen to live in a nation that censors far more than India.
Last Friday, artist Owen Maseko was arrested by police for an exhibition at the National Gallery in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. This is the second exhibition closed by Zimbabwean authorities. Earlier that same week, a photo exhibition in Harare by Okay Machisa was shut down.