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Banned’ art exhibition censored by Brighton and Hove Council
A controversial artist whose exhibition focuses on censorship claims two of his artworks were banned by a council on the eve of the opening.
Brighton and Hove City Council staff removed one work at the Banned exhibition at Jubilee Library, Brighton, before the official opening, while party political statements were censored with white cardboard on another.
Artist Vince Laws said he was called by a librarian after Friday’s private viewing and told they had been removed.
He had been asked to show his work as part of the B Right On Festival, which is part of LGBT Month.
His visual poem This Pope is Pants was removed from the show at the eleventh hour and his comment on government benefit cuts to the low paid called Eat the Poor, which included references to the coalition partners Lib Dems and Tories, was censored but remains in place.
Mr Laws said: “I didn’t put up anything that they had told me I couldn’t.
Provoke discussion “I was offered the space by Jubilee Library but to be fair to them they did not know what they were getting.
“I wanted to provoke a discussion about what is allowed and what is not. If I produce a well thought-out work of art I think that should be OK [to display].”
Shown at viewing
A council spokesperson said: “Of course, where possible, we accommodate artists throughout the year for a whole range of subjects and in this situation our library service agreed the content of the exhibition with the artists at the early stages ahead of the event itself.
“The terms of the exhibition were agreed and clearly laid out beforehand: some of the more controversial artworks would be shown at the private view.
"These artworks were indeed shown at the private view on Friday evening.
“The contents were agreed on the basis that while we support artistic expression, we try to strike a balance between more controversial work being exhibited in an exhibition in the foyer of a public library and not potentially offending other library users.”
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