To me it beggars belief that a court is restricting a gallery’s right to display a piece of artwork on the basis that it “offends” some indigenous people and their supporters.
I just can’t wait for someone to make the argument that artists should respect the beliefs of our indigenous people when they would not make the same arguments about art that draws upon the iconography of other faith traditions. As one commenter here was so keen to point out art is supposed to be about the transgressive and challenging accepted beliefs and ideas.
When I read the part of the piece that talks about the imagery of the sculpture being a “caricature”I could not fail to think about the court action about William Dobell’s entry in the Archibald prize and I remember correctly that claim failed and it was decided that his painting was not a caricature. What I think is happening here is the enforcement of a rather racist notion that only certain people may use the iconography of the indigenous art because I can’t help thinking that if the artist was claiming to be indigenous that there would be nothing but praise from those who are now so vociferously complaining…
More detail about the artist and this piece of work here
Cue Zane Trow 😉