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Re: <nettime> publication of "Jyllands-Posten" cartoons is not "freedom
Grethe . Melby on Fri, 10 Feb 2006 11:08:58 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> publication of "Jyllands-Posten" cartoons is not "freedom of thepress"

Sitat Florian Cramer <cantsin {AT} zedat.fu-berlin.de>:

> Whatever the reason for the reproduction and defense of Robert
> Mapplethorpe's "Piss Jesus", media which republish the picture in the
> name of "freedom of speech" or "freedom of art" are seriously
> misrepresenting what "freedom of speech" or "freedom of art" mean.
> The publication and republication of "Piss Jesus" are an example of
> sensational artistic practices, an effort to use art to provoke
> people, which is traditionally something that art has been used
> for.
> Freedom of art is not the freedom to stir up hatred against a
> people because of their religion or nationality or sex, etc.

Ok Florian Cramer, more correct, it is Andres Serrano, and the title is "Piss
Christ", but the point is taken anyhow. A more contemporary example may be Gilbert
and Georges exhibition in the white Cube Gallery" in London, where the pictures
called "God loves fucking! Enjoy" and "Jesus says forgive yourself" presents Jesus
as a homosexual. The Exhibition is called: "Sonofgod Pictures: Was Jesus

Todays news in Norway is that the editor of the conservative christian paper
Magazinet, Vegard Selbekk, that printed these pictures in Norway, may be tried for
blasphemy because a muslim peace-oriented organisation wants to take him to court.
When the norwegian law on freedom of speech (§100 in the Norwegian
constitution)was renewed in (I think it was in 2001) this paragraph was wanted
removed, because this paragraph protects something that may be very subjective
(there are a lot of religions) but the right-wings and the christian democrats in
parliament made it remain. If Selbekk will be convicted, the art world will have
more constraints, indeed, since the paragraph on blasphemy will be "awakened". 


Grethe Melby
writer, art critic

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