Friday, April 20, 2007
Bed and Circuses
The circus surrounding the censorship of my Art Melbourne space continued today. Renault removed my artwork from their cars, as they said they would, and cancelled my appearance on the Today show. The Sun Herald newspaper sent a photographer to do a portrait of me standing in front of the white sheet on which, yesterday, I had scrawled 'CENSORED' in red lipstick, and Ashley Crawford, the respected art critic of The Age newspaper, asked his editor there if he could write about the incident. Even a news team from the national TV and radio broadcaster, ABC, interviewed me on the subject of artistic freedom. Visitors continue to crowd the tiny, three metre by two metre space. The oddest thing: a few have begun adding their own objects to the Sex Tourist installation or using the cheap, old Polaroid camera that's part of it to create their own photographs, which they either leave on the unkempt bed or take away with them. I'm not sure what to make of this other than to appreciate the interaction – it enhances the artwork, making it somehow more alive than a mere painting in a frame. That said, the relationship between this replication of a cheap motel room, littered with the soiled evidence of recent fucking, and the story within the voyeuristic watercolours on the walls makes all the works I'm showing here more unsettling and meaningful.