08 August 2006

The fear and lunacy that is arts censorship

A poem can be printed but not read. Art works that someone somewhere may take offence to cannot be exhibited. Anything that is "sexually suggestive" must be taken out of an art exhibition before an adults-only licence can be granted. This is how Singapore hopes to encourage creativity. Full essay.

6 comments:

Ray said...

One of the purposes of art is to provoke a response. And respond, MDA certainly did. Pushing the limits is almost by definition what artists do. So judging by such criteria, both events were a resounding success! Hence MDA's decisions come as no surprise, they are after all a censorship body and are merely doing their job.

On the other hand, its decision making methodology is far from ideal. To approve a previewed piece of art and subsequently backtrack is most certainly unprofessional. Even the bad guys ought to do a proper job of it.

teck soon said...

The need for a license in the first place is silly. The MDA is wasting societal resources.

runecircle said...

Meh, same old same old, eh. :(

I love the double-standards when dealing with foreign art. Hello, Crazy Horse?

Anonymous said...

MDA should lighten up. The Art Show was tastefully done and showed the humanism in all of us.

recruit ong said...

I only have one thing to say:

After 40 yrs the rot has set in. This system, that PAP is so gan cheong about and proud of (to the extent that they destroy dissenters like JBJ and CSJ by any means), has closed up on itself. Inbreeding has mutated it into a grotesque, bloated and unwieldy monster totally sycophantic & subserviant to one political party.

PAP won't last forever. And when it falls its gonna drag the whole damn get-up down with it. Better not be in the way when it happens.

terence said...

"sexually suggestive" ? personally i dont see anything sexually suggestive in the photos...
maybe the good folks at MDA are too constipated to appreciate any form of art in its uncensored form.

with these kinds of behaviour, singapore can build all the 'hardware' it wants, e.g. esplanade, all kinds of concert halls etc..etc..but the local 'heartware' that constitutes the soul of the local arts scene will forever be missing

i hate censorship. MDA should let singaporeans decide what they want to see and what they do not want. After 40 over years of nation building, are we not mature enough to decide for ourselves ?