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Ok so I'm stuck in a really annoying situation in my arts class. Basically over the course of the past year I've been producing pieces (mainly photographs)  that include nude models and have encountered a few problems with my school when I expressed that I wanted to include these photographs in my final exhibition. Basically I was told to alter the pieces or I wouldn't be able to submit them. Whilst I understand they probably want to appease everyone (teachers, parents who may see the exhibit etc.) and avoid any sort of social faux pas, frankly, I found the experience to be patronizing both towards myself and the potential audience.  Even more so because the images aren't sexual (no genitals are even visible) and they aren't even really "nude" because they are covered in body paint. Further, no other students found any issue with the images. Also the model is of legal age, gave permission to exhibit and all that jazz.

Does anyone know if there are any official IBO rules on nudity in exhibition pieces?

In general I really want to hear your opinion on the issue, for example do you think it was a different media the response would be different?

Edited by S.S Louise

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That's a really good point. There are no rules that I can find (I spent a couple of hours looking around) and have never heard of any. I'm pretty sure this is just your school's choice.

This is a bit of an odd decision (your school's, I mean) because this is, after all, the arts and nude models are nothing new. If anything, for such a "sensitive" audience (or just school), you could simply do what we is done everywhere now --: warn viewers that they may be "disturbed" from their usual slumbering, monotonous, overly-safe and pampered lives -- in this case, see some "naked flesh." in a school.

Good grief. I should have thought no one in Denmark should be offended by something so banal, but then things may have changed with recent events in the news. I hope not. I can't stand PC. A lot of it simply cowardice in face of bullying.

And anyway, I thought anything goes in the arts.

Now, compare what you are doing and what people see every day:  all the really graphic images of blood and gore displayed, every day, on the TV; the promise of sex in our advertising ... just about ALL our advertising !  And there is definitely no shortage of naked butts, breasts and flailing limbs in the movies (in case your audience lives in an unconscious trance:   every single Western movie figures a Joe Bloe and Miss So-and-So getting it on -- all this is just plain and simple lust, which we like to think of as "romance"....), and so on and so on. 

What can possibly offend you audience? 

So I say, this is your chance to make a stand in the name of art:  don't allow yourself to be censored in this way. Your school's timidity should not stop you from achieving your goals and expressing yourself in the way you want. They should respect YOU, not some vague,possibility of disturbance of general opinion. 

If a Fatwah is pronounced against you, then you can be flattered by the company you share. Salman Rushdie is just one illustrious name, then, more recently all those cartoonists (artists, and good ones) at Charlie. Hopefully, it does not boil down to a question of a religious minority. You'll gain some measure of fame and the IBO will need to take a stand. Maybe that is a good thing for such a safe franchise.

Edited by Blackcurrant
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Thanks so much for your response,  it really cheered me up.

As much as I would like to stand up against this BS, I've ultimately decided to fold because it's really just an uphill battle against my teacher for the right to exhibit the piece in its current state. She suggested altering a printed version of the photo to make it a message against censorship, so I'm going to try and work with that idea - even though it's distorting the intended aesthetic of the piece. 

At the very least this experience has driven me to pursue even more nude-centred artwork, and I've recently started on a 3D series that works around this concept. 

Hopefully the IB will lay some groundwork on the issue soon. 

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It's this sort of timidity (the school's) that erodes free speech and thinking. Art should never be censored.

If the public does not like it, then it can stay away.  Shutting the artist down or tampering with his or her ideas to suit sensibilities is an interference and a cop out. 

 

Edited by Blackcurrant
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This is odd since a person in my class is doing nude drawings of people and I believe they are submitting them to be apart of their exhibition. These images even have full-on nudity, meaning breasts and genitals are visible. There should not be an issue with nudity if explicit consent is given, no matter the media. I think you should speak to your teacher about this, and if nothing changes, maybe contact the IBO. It seems unfair that we can do nude drawings, but nude photographs are not allowed. The stigma around nudity really angers me, because it is such a natural thing but people seem to be so uncomfortable with a little bit of skin. I believe what you teacher is doing is illegal, especially in Scandinavia. Actually, I even took a look at the Constitution, and if you look at §77, it clearly states that she is not allowed to. 

Quote

Enhver er berettiget til på tryk, i skrift og tale at offentliggøre sine tanker, dog under ansvar for domstolene. Censur og andre forebyggende forholdsregler kan ingensinde påny indføres.

 

Lycka till!

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Hi there,

I find your school's decision very immature to be honest. Two people in my class have already done nude paintings for their exhibition and no one even thought twice about it. I really don't see an issue or a reason why you aren't allowed to showcase your own art... it's ridiculous. Your models are covered in BODY PAINT as well! Wow. 

The only advice I can give is to be persistent and keep insisting that you exhibit your pieces. Your school shouldn't be censoring your work like this.

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So good news guys, it looks like I'm gonna be able to exhibit the piece without censoring it in any way!

The only downside is that I'm probably going to be in a more closed off area with a "warning sign" of some sort. Honestly, though I'm just happy I get to exhibit it. I just really wanna thank you guys for all the feedback, it encouraged me to keep fighting for the right to exhibit my work.

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3 hours ago, S.S Louise said:

So good news guys, it looks like I'm gonna be able to exhibit the piece without censoring it in any way!

The only downside is that I'm probably going to be in a more closed off area with a "warning sign" of some sort. Honestly, though I'm just happy I get to exhibit it. I just really wanna thank you guys for all the feedback, it encouraged me to keep fighting for the right to exhibit my work.

That's great to hear! Thanks for the update. I still find it ridiculous how you have to be closed off with a warning sign, but at least you're actually allowed to display your work. Good job insisting and standing up for your work.

Good luck with your exhibition! It's a very exciting time. Mine is in exactly 2 weeks and then we'll be out of school soon after that :D

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