The Chandelier Project by Stephen Cohen
“We have also indicated that teachers are at liberty to choose the type of art they wish to use in the classroom. But they should check with the learners’ parents first.”
The chief executive of the Federation of Associations of Governing Bodies of South African Schools, Paul Colditz, said children should not be exposed to nudity.
“I am not an art expert and I won’t comment about the relevance of nude art in the school curriculum. But from a moral point of view, no parent would want their children to be taught about nudity at school,” Colditz said.
I’m sorry, don’t these kids have baths? get undressed and dressed again? have gym at school? what a delightfully general comment – “no parent would want their children to be taught about nudity at school” first off, haven’t the children already been taught about nudity? in it’s most basic form? one presumes that if these kids haven’t heard of nudity or seen it in some form by the time they get to school, well there is certainly something very wrong.
This restriction applies to school curriculum in South Africa where performance artist Steven Cohen has been struck from the curriculum due to his nude content. the arts community is outraged because Cohen is one of South Africa’s most famous living artists. but I think this issue is deeper than striking one artist from the books, because where one is dropped, more may follow – and then what? Paul Colditz’s attitude horrifies and dismays me – how many works of art will be sacrificed out of fear that children may see a nude body?