I wanted to share a picture of Rick Gibson’s human earrings, but then I realized that his exhibition at the Young Unknowns Gallery lasted only a couple of hours and then he and the gallery owner were charged with and convicted of, outraging public decency. Even-though there are rumors that these earrings are currently held in the collection of Scotland Yard’s Black Museum in London, the museum is closed to the public… So, having read the Obscene Publications Act 1959, I have figured that I might be ‘distributing’ this ‘obscene’ image… even-though; personally, I don’t find it particularly offensive.
These earrings were made of freeze-dried human foetuses. The foetuses were given to Rick Gibson by a British anatomy professor and have been preserved for 20 years at the time he made them.
Now, Rick Gibson is an artist, the purpose of art, is often to provoke. And so is often the purpose of fashion. The more different and daring the piece is, the better. There has been a lot of controversy about the use of fur, outsourcing production to countries with little labour/human rights laws, and of course the issue of anorexic-looking models...
But regardless of these issues, we still buy and wear fur, people still shop at Primark (who makes those clothes?!), and anorexic-looking, does not mean the ladies are actually suffering from a recognized medical illness… The art has often been rather provocative and it hasn’t just disappeared. (There’s currently a Robert Mapplethorpe’s exhibition at Alison Jacques gallery- go shock your senses!). Actually, speaking of that exhibition- there are 6 empty frames on a wall, blacked out. Over 'the black-abyss' there are descriptions of what 'should' be inside the frame... In one of those frames they're talking about a man, a bull-whip, his anus etc etc... Fascinating? That's why it's been 'censored'... NOT. The problem is- the picture is hanging right on the opposite wall, full-size and what not... Weird, right? Censorship fail? Maybe? Maybe not... I was too embarrassed to speak to my teacher about it. Go check it out and tell me what you think.
Oh yes, and what do you think- where shall we draw the line between art and beauty, decency and standing firm by our moral values? Morality and ethics depend on our culture, so what is decent somewhere in America might not be viewed as such in Iran, for example. What is censorship like in your country? What is it affected by?
I am SUCH a student... I know, I know.