Bitter Sweet goodbyes

My Sweet Lord

My Sweet Lord,
by Cosimo Cavallaro

The “My Sweet Lord” display was shut down by the hotel that houses the Lab Gallery in midtown Manhattan. Roger Smith Hotel president James Knowles cited the public outcry for his decision.The reaction “is crystal clear and has brought to our attention the unintended reaction of you and other conscientious friends of ours to the exhibition,” Knowles wrote in the two-paragraph cancellation notice.Matt Semler, the gallery’s creative director, resigned in protest.
Sioux City Journal: Do you think a Holy Week art exhibit featuring a nude chocolate Jesus should have been shut down?:

I wish I could say this didn’t surprise me, but I am sorry. giving in seems weak to me, an easy out. we need to have our views challenged and our opinions upset, it’s how we grow, as a culture and as individuals. People are so worried about political correctness that every commercial or public viewed item has to be carefully sterilized and sanitized. this is eroding our curiosities and our urges to create and I personally believe it is taking the edge off our cultures.

Personally I don’t find this piece particularly attractive, but I will defend it’s right to be exhibited, especially at this time. if we backed down from everything at the first sign of an obstacle we would get nothing done. if a work of art, writing, tv show, movie, music etc offends you, you have the freedom to turn your back, to not pay any attention. True freedom of expression requires tolerating things that may offend you or stir your blood or neurons. when we start limiting this basic freedom we all start missing something.

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One thought on “Bitter Sweet goodbyes

  1. Being in NYC, I understand why the gallery pulled the exhibition. They received death threats and their display is ground level on Lexington in one of the busiest areas of midtown. I’m sorry to have to say that I think they made a wise decision — imagine getting hurt or killed over a chocolate Jesus. Imagine — if it were the artist or the gallery hurt, the fundamentalists would say if was God’s revenge for blasphemy. If it were one of their own, they would sue the pants off the hotel (and maybe the insurance company would claim that it was an act of God!).

    It would have been better if they had been able to say that a showing would be put to another venue. The artist issued a statement that he has gotten a lot of offers to show it and offers to buy it as well.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that it is neither the chocolate or the penis that is the problem; the problem is that is ‘My Sweet Lord’ is art, definitely art — which means freedom of expression.

    It is freedom of expression per se that the religious fundamentalists are against. According to them, YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO YOUR OWN OPINION. Their opinions, sensibilities, preferences, phobias and mores trump yours — and they won’t let you forget it.

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