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The museum of censorship

The museum of censorship

A collection for the censored art . The withdrawal in the last edition of the fair Arco de Madrid of the work Political prisoners of Santiago Sierra motivated the co-founder of the production company Mediapro Tatxo Benet to buy it. It had a starting price of 80,000 euros. Benet described as "intolerable, scandalous and inexplicable that in a democratic state and with freedom of expression that work had been censored". Now, as he has learned La ​​Vanguardia Benet is carrying out a larger operation: create a censored art collection without temporal or geographical limits. And, for the time being, it has already acquired a piece that has given a lot to talk about in recent years and that took the entire management team to the 2015 Museu d'Art Contemporani
of Barcelona : the sculpture of the Austrian artist Ines
Doujak in the exhibition The Beast and the Sovereign a piece entitled Not dressed for conquering ] (Not dressed for the conquest) in which a Bolivian feminist peasant was seen sodomizing the king emeritus.

The collection that begins at this moment Tatxo Benet has ambition – and the financial backing of his fortune – and works of course they will not miss to integrate it. What pieces could be part of a museum, a collection of censored art ? The artist Francesc Torres (Barcelona, ​​1948) has some answers. After all, at the end of last year he mounted the fabulous exhibition The Entropic Box in the MNAC in which he showed art censored in the worst way: attacked, destroyed, other times hidden to save it. There were femicides -during the celebration of the Barcelona Eucharistic Congress in 1952 someone entered the Museu d'Art Modern at night and ruthlessly ripped all the female nudes he found in his path- and also burnt art, such as the paintings by Sert that burned at Vic Cathedral in the Civil War . At the end of that same struggle, the Museu d'Art Modern decided to hide within the center the art of the republican period to avoid losing "from the year 1939 to the year 1986, which is said soon", stresses.

' Piss Christ ', by Andrés Serrano, caused controversy in the USA. and was attacked in France

Of course, Torres is clear that what he would most like to see in a censored art collection is the large sample of degenerate art that the Nazis carried out in 1937 in Munich. "More forceful, impossible, orchestrated by the State, censorship art but also to people who did it by the mere fact of how they thought, some because they were Jews, others because they were communists. Many of those works were lost: what the Nazis could not auction in Switzerland to get money to buy art that Hitler liked for the German Art Museum that was to be made in Linz. When they realized that they could take out pasta selling in Switzerland what they thought was crap, they sold it. And that was saved. "

Torres would also be interested to see the Russian artists Komar and Melamid," who worked together as Equipo Crónica here in the seventies and eighties, are not very well known, but they are fantastic. , they had to leave the USSR. " In fact, in 1974 they were stopped during a performance and at the end of that year they destroyed their double self-portrait – in which they parodied Lenin and Stalin – in what is known as a bulldozer exhibition, because the artists' show in the Belyayevo forest was devastated by a police force that included bulldozers and water cannons. Torres would include in the museum The origin of the world, the foreground of a female sex painted by Courbet, "a painting that has not stopped since the first day, has been explosive at all times, place it where you put it, it is a bomb" . In fact, Facebook has gone to trial in France for censoring it.

The Nazi exhibition of 'degenerate art' ended up auctioned off in Switzerland or lost …

Torres lived in the United States the world of Reagan and the artistic censorship that He brought the time. It was the presidency of Reagan, which loads the National Endowment for the Arts, and Senator Jesse Helms is doing his thing, as if it were McCarthy and messing with the artistic and anti-patriotic left. He says that it is not constitutional or fair to use public money to do works that call into question the integrity of the American way of life. The first that the cavalry is thrown at is a young boy who, in an exhibition at the Chicago Art Institute, creates an installation that, in order to reach the end, has to step on an American flag. "He had to withdraw and returned the money for the piece," he recalls. Helms attacked Andrés Serrano's 1987 Piss Christ photograph – a plastic crucifix immersed in urine – that has been vandalized in France Australia. Serrano was threatened with death and lost scholarships. The explicit sexuality of the photographs of Robert Mapplethorpe, whose 1989 exhibition at the Corcoran in Washington was canceled, was also attacked.

Torres clarifies that "there is art censored by us from what we consider bad. Nazi art In Germany it can not be shown. There is National Socialist art confiscated in Washington, in the funds of the armed forces. I have photographed there Hitler's watercolors from when I was a student. It is a collection of Nazi art that you do not finish and you can only see it with special permits. In Germany, the same thing happens. "

… and now it is Nazi art that remains locked in the USA. o Germany

Professor Antonio Monegal adds a reflection: "We are all against censorship, but there are forms of tolerance that are signs of social irrelevance. One of the things that censorship demonstrates is that art continues to matter and has the capacity to impact certain sectors. All artists and creators who try to make some kind of political statement would be concerned that their art does not generate irritation. But the freedom of creation is different from that of expression, which may have limits. Art needs a particular freedom. To the extent that you want to generate conflict, you must have that space of relationship and dialogue with the people. The ability of art is to influence the space of symbols, it must provoke a reaction. It is normal that there is, what should seem wrong to us is that people have political and judicial instruments to repress. "