Political Street Art | Right, it’s not a new topic but today I want to write down some of my thoughts about censorship in the urban arts. The reason for that decision was first the fact that the dollar-coffin mural by Blu was painted over just a couple of hours after it was completed, because of objections by a museum’s director. Second, it’s because of the fact that we have the ARTAQ Urban Art Awards in town, which is somehow supported by the Reporters Without Borders.
Anyway, the first thing which came into my mind when I thought about the problem of censorship was that interesting statement, street artist A1one did about political-motivated censorship of urban art in Iran:
Three months ago, I signed an agreement with the police that I never do it (street art is meant) again, because they take it political and they take it more seriously. The main reason is that 30 years ago one of the mediums they used for the revolution was walls and the spray-paints… (A1one)
The “wrong”, artistic pictured opinion in a “wrong” context is not allowed and will be destroyed (like in Blu’s case) or the artist prosecuted (like in A1one’s case). It’s quite similar to the facts we now know about the buff of the Blu mural. When critical anti-war artwork is destroyed because it’s next to a war memorial (I’m pretty sure that was one of the reasons why Blu did it that way!) you can without doubt call that censorship.
And I don’t have RJ’s opinion, when he says that “if Blu understands and respects MOCA’s decision enough to paint another mural there”, he would do too. I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t ever paint again for that museum, because it’s irresponsible to say: “We don’t like your last political statement, please come again and paint the right.” I still can’t believe it happened…
Anyhow, although there are some who have a similar understanding, my opinion is not the ultimate, that’s why I want to read your comments on that topic! Can you understand the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles? When is an artwork an political statement and when becomes buffing censorship? Difficult questions I know, but it’s also a difficult topic…
Image by Unurth.com