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Censorship in Art

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Modern art became a very controversial issue since in the present world the amount of new kinds of art, art techniques, and forms is rising annually. Painting, sculpture, architecture, graphic design, installations – this is only a short list of modern forms of art.
First of all, not every item considered as an artwork by its author should be called an artwork. Different people have different kinds of perception. Thus, one particular conception can be observed from different sides and aspects, and cause various thoughts in people who looked at it. In general, every artwork can be perceived both positively and negatively. With the variety of thoughts and opinions, every item in this world can be taken as good or bad. The same can be seen with artworks. Every person has one’s own system of values and own perception of beauty. Therefore, a dead bird or an old rag can be taken as a beautiful thing with the variety of lines, curves or semitones by one person and have absolutely no artistic value for another person.

With modern conditions of living, more people have an opportunity and time for artistic creations. However, many “artworks” are created only for commercial purpose and should be called commercial art. Such creations do not carry any proper or artistic merit. Simple placing an apple on a mount and calling it art is wrong in the first place, since this particular apple was created by nature, and the only thing an “author” did is placing it. Though, even an apple can cause many thoughts, there was absolutely no creating process, and it should be observed in the philosophy classes, but not at the exhibition. In fact, every creation can be called work of art; however, due to the abovementioned reason, not everything is considered as an artwork.

Every artwork is a reflection of creator’s thoughts and world view. Telling about artwork censorship, opinions can be divided into two groups – for and against censorship. Every group has a reasonable standpoint; however, censorship should not take place in such field as art. In fact, artworks can be censored due to various reasons, for example it could be offensive to religions, governments, or morality in general. One of the modern brightest examples of banned political art can be observed with the Owen Maseko’s artwork “They Beat Us”. This artwork and few others are banned by the government of Zimbabwe and are categorized as undermining the government’s and president’s authority. With this artwork, the artist wanted to pay the world’s attention to the massacres and the whole unsatisfying situation in Zimbabwe. However, trying to escape political problems, these artworks exhibition was banned, and Maseko was put under arrest at the same day. Such case brightly represents the violation against human rights and freedom of speech. Therefore, such censorship implies wrong idea, and, in the end, may cause even more interest from the side of people.

The other interesting case with censorship can be seen with the Frank Carter’s artwork “Grey Britain”. Such kind of artwork should be under partial censorship since it contains pornographic and violent images. This particular artwork should not be seen by every person, and in fact, must be exhibited only with a warning about its content. Not many people would like to look at this artwork due to the high possibility of rather unpleasant thoughts and images appearance.

Although censorship has different levels, while talking about art, partial censorship should be present in some cases. For example, artworks containing sexual or violent context should not ever be seen by children. In the present world, the amount of people with mental health issues is rising constantly, and artworks with the abovementioned context may cause serious mental shifts in children’s and adults’ consciousness. Therefore, such works should be observed only in certain places, and potential viewers must always be informed about what they may see.

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