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Old 04-18-2005, 08:02 AM   #106
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Originally posted by nbcrusader

Theoretically, someone might consider crashing a plane into a building as a piece of art......
Are you talking about the actual act of crashing a plane into a building?

If so, that presents "clear and present danger" and is not protected speech.

Shouldn't the lawyer know that?

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Old 05-28-2005, 04:42 AM   #107
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not the Secret Service but sort of interesting nonetheless..

Broward pressures Art Guild to remove graphic painting of Bush from 'Controversy' exhibit

By Jean-Paul Renaud
Staff Writer

May 27, 2005

An explicit art piece at the private, nonprofit Broward Art Guild was removed from its prominent position in the gallery after the agency's director received a phone call from the county's Department of Cultural Affairs, which partially funds the group.

County Administrator Roger Desjarlais said Thursday the phone call placed by department director Mary Becht -- and the subsequent decision to take the painting off the wall -- will lead to an internal discussion of whether county agencies have the right to influence artistic decisions or fund certain exhibits.

The Broward Art Guild's annual exhibit, entitled "Controversy," caught the attention of Becht when she received a complaint from another artist in the show that an art piece entitled "Yahoo!" was offensive and inappropriate.

"It's not every day that you get a call from the director of cultural affairs at your home," said guild director Susan Buzzi. "Of course I took it very seriously."

Becht confirmed placing the call, but said the conversation was to inquire about the Guild's policy on displaying explicit art.

The piece in question is a painting depicting President Bush being sodomized. Artist Alfred Phillips said images of an oil barrel and a man wearing a Muslim headdress in the work are part of a political statement about the United States being abused by oil companies.

Michael Friedman, the artist who complained to the county, said the painting is offensive and tasteless.

"Something snapped inside," he said. Friedman himself entered a piece depicting Pope Benedict XVI with several swastikas in the background.

"Sodomy in a public forum is not, from my perspective, considered art," he said. "I think somebody has to draw the line somewhere. I like political satire. However, that type of image ... I don't think is artistic."

The exhibit's organizers accepted the Bush painting into the show, saying there was a relevant political message, Buzzi said. The show includes about 45 pieces of art that generally make some kind of social or political statement. Another piece depicts Bush dressed as the Statue of Liberty and holding a tablet with a swastika on it. Yet another piece shows two American soldiers carrying a dead body into a car.

The show is being held at the Guild, 530 NE 13th St., until June 13.

Buzzi said she received a call at her home before the show opened May 20 from Becht, requesting the artwork be taken off the wall and moved to a less prominent space within the gallery.

Buzzi said Becht reminded her that the county partially finances the Guild's annual budget. On average, the county gives about $14,000 a year to the nonprofit, which has an annual budget of about $60,000.

Becht denied suggesting the piece be displayed in a less prominent manner.

"I really just asked what are their policies about exhibiting art that might be sensitive to the public," Becht said.

Buzzi said the decision to take the art piece off the wall was a compromise. By the time the exhibit opened its doors, "Yahoo!" had been removed from its original position, placed on an easel and set near a corner of the gallery facing the wall -- away from the other paintings.

A disclaimer, which was posted at the gallery's entry as well as read out loud by a Guild employee as people walked in, was also placed on the easel warning attendees of the painting's explicit nature.

"It forces you to walk around and take the initiative to look at it," Buzzi said. "I told [Becht] that we would be sensitive to it."

Desjarlais said officials would meet today to discuss how Becht handled the matter, and whether it's appropriate to fund such exhibits.

"We'll have to make some decisions ... Is it appropriate for a funding agency to attempt to influence the display of art, even though it's on private property?" he said. "The question also becomes if it's an appropriate use of public funds."

Broward County Vice Mayor Ben Graber said that as long as the art show placed disclaimers about the exhibit's content, that county officials had no place making that phone call.

"If there's a warning at the door, the county should not be involved," Graber said. "I respect freedom of speech regardless of the issue. It's obviously a political message. I can't see why one should be allowed and not the other. Everyone should have the opportunity."

Phillips said he's not an activist and rarely conjures up such political art. But he wanted to use this exhibit to express some of his views.

"It does bother me a little bit that it was mounted differently and turned away from the other art in the room," said Phillips, who specializes in landscape art. "A lot of people told me they didn't even see it. They didn't know it was there."

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Old 05-28-2005, 04:58 AM   #108
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Seems that should fall under freedom of speech, freedom of expression. Offensiveness isn't a crime.

Maybe it is. Maybe we should stick to paintings of large-eyed children, dogs playing poker and "Precious moments."

God forbid we be offended.
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Old 05-28-2005, 05:03 AM   #109
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The guy who complained submitted a painting of the now dec. Pope with swastikas????
Yeah right, buddy...
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Old 05-28-2005, 08:00 AM   #110
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Heh, yeah, really...a tad hypocritical there, buddy.

Originally posted by BonosSaint
Offensiveness isn't a crime.
It's like I've said before-we cannot get rid of every single thing in this world that offends us. Just banishing it does not solve the problem-the thoughts are still there, the images are still there.

Censorship doesn't get to the root of the problem.

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Old 05-28-2005, 11:36 AM   #111
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It looks like someone is jealous that the other artist was just a little more controversial than him.
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Old 05-28-2005, 05:26 PM   #112
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Originally posted by Angela Harlem
The guy who complained submitted a painting of the now dec. Pope with swastikas????
Yeah right, buddy...
Lets just hope that Catholics don't riot over it.
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Old 05-29-2005, 04:52 AM   #113
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This disturbs me. It's censorship. I'm not defending the picture, particularly, I'd never do a painting like this. Even when we do political protest at the studio, and one of my teachers did do a painting protesting Iraq, but Bush wasn't even it, it's not like this. Still, no one is obligated to like this picture. Taking it down is really extreme.

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