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Latest news Februari 2018
 
 

Februari 2, 2018

 

Is vrijheid in de kunst verleden tijd?

Vandaag kwam ik onderstaand artikel tegen waar de Manchester Art Gallery een schilderij genaamd Hylas And The Nymphs, van de hand van Victoriaanse artiest J. W. Waterhouse, weggehaald heeft waar meerdere jonge meisjes naakt op staan. Dit om discussies te vermijden of boze personen zich op de hals te halen.

Maar juist nu moeten we boos zijn want, zoals je verder in het stuk hier beneden kan lezen, zijn er vele schilderijen die dan op de nominatie staan om deze achter slot en grendel te zetten en de kunstenaar de stempel te geven dat hij een mogelijke pedofiel is.

In de 18de - 19de - 20ste eeuw was het uitbeelden van jong naakt een zeer gewone vorm van schilderen en vastleggen. We zien dan ook in zeer veel kerken en historische oude gebouwen vele afbeeldingen van naakte baby's, kinderen, jonge vrouwen. Gaan we deze allemaal overschilderen en kleren aangeven?

Wat zal men gaan doen met alle kunst uit de gouden eeuw? Een eeuw waar nog moeilijk te zien was wie een mannetje of vrouwtje was en waar letterlijk en figuurlijk iedereen met elkaar in bed lag en fokte als beesten. In die eeuwen was het uitbeelden van jonge kinderen en gave lichamen een normale manier van expressie.

Hoever gaat men om zaken in het uiterste door te trekken en waar is nog de vrijheid van creëren en vrije expressie? Als kunstenaar is het dus nagenoeg onmogelijk nog naakt vast te leggen zeker als het te jong er uit ziet. De wereld is werkelijk doorgeslagen en het is duidelijk dat enkele zieke geesten zaken zoals de discussies over de slaven wereld en joden vervolging uitspelen. De beurt is nu blijkbaar gevallen op de kunstenaars die te jonge mensen geschilderd of vastgelegd hebben.

Dan de geheel andere kant:
Waarom is Hugh Hefner (Playboy) niet aangepakt toen hij op de voorpagina van Playboy een geheel naakte Brooke Shields, 10 jaar oud zette (Zie watamula October 03 at 05:00am 'Pedophile' Hugh Hefner Was Murdered)? Was dat kunst die wel mocht en in die tijd door meerdere "kunstenaars" denkende aan Warholl, Picasso enz. gehanteerd en gebruikt werden?

Hoe ver gaan we?

Persoonlijk vind ik dat de vrijheid van kunst, door deze galerie actie, sterk wordt aangetast. Als men alles wat geschilderd/getekend is en waar naakt op voorkomt van baby's tot jonge vrouwen, gaat opruimen, verbergen en zelfs vernietigen is de vraag; hoever trek je dat nog verder door? Het kan niet zo zijn dat door het compleet doorslaan van enkele groepen, die nu alles zetten onder pedofilie en onder onzedelijk, de vrijheid van een kunstenaar ingebonden wordt.

Een kunstenaar creëert, verlegt grenzen en beeldt uit wat hij naar buiten wil brengen. Zaken die dan bij hem spelen, zaken die hem pakken. Creëren gaat verder, is tijdloos en dat mag niet tegengehouden worden door welke gedachtegang, groep, wet of regel dan ook. Door naakt te schilderen/tekenen wil niet zeggen dat er automatisch een seksuele verbintenis of daad aan gekoppeld is en ook niet dat deze persoon een pedofiel moet zijn. Tijden veranderen maar slaan we niet te ver door?

Laat een kunstenaar creëren en zie nog steeds de schoonheid van wat er je voorgehouden wordt.

John H Baselmans-Oracle



Het bewuste stuk

How long until the New Puritans stop us seeing all these treasures, asks A.N. WILSON as Manchester Art Gallery removes a pre-Raphaelite picture of naked nymphs

The heavy hand of political correctness has struck at one of the country’s most important art collections in these unsettling times following the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

The Manchester Art Gallery has removed from its walls one of its best known and most popular paintings, Hylas And The Nymphs, by Victorian artist J. W. Waterhouse, which features naked pubescent girls enticing a handsome young man into a water pool. Postcards of the picture will no longer be sold in the gallery’s shop.

The gallery insists it is not banning the picture, painted in 1896, but simply wants to provoke debate — to ‘prompt conversations about how we display and interpret artworks’ and how to make them ‘relevant’ in the 21st century.

Clare Gannaway, the gallery’s curator of contemporary art, said the room where it was hung — entitled In Pursuit Of Beauty — perpetuated ‘outdated and damaging stories’ that ‘women are either femmes fatale or passive bodies for male consumption’.

s1

- Falling foul of modern mores: J.W.Waterhour's Hylas and The Nymphs has been taken down for perpetuating 'damaging stories' of women +8

So all too predictably in today’s intolerant world, this ‘conversation’ turns out to be dogmatic and one-sided. We are being told by earnest New Puritans that we should be ashamed of ourselves for even looking at this picture. You may not know the painting, but as soon as you see it you will recognize it for what it is, a harmless bit of kitsch often reproduced on posters and postcards.

No one has ever supposed it a great work of art. But like many Victorian paintings in the pre-Raphaelite style — Sir John Everett Millais’s painting of Hamlet’s drowned Ophelia with her red hair floating in the water behind her, is another example — Hylas And The Nymphs feels comfortingly familiar. It is, I would argue, rather charming.

Yet because it depicts naked teenage girls, we will be told in this Manchester gallery’s ‘conversation’ that — far from being a harmless bit of titillation for Victorian businessmen, as was intended — the picture is appalling evidence of how women have been exploited throughout the ages.

s2

- Underage: One of Paul Gauguin's depictions of a young Polynesian girl with whom he slept +8

For a start, modern feminist taste is almost certain to consider the Greek myth on which the painting is based to be highly offensive.

Hylas, a beautiful youth who some believed to be the gay lover of Hercules, was a sailor searching for the Golden Fleece which would allow the captain of his ship, the Argo, to be confirmed as king. He was seduced from his life as an Argonaut by the nymphs who drew him into the water for their gratification.

This, the feminists will point out, is every man’s sick fantasy — that women are nymph-omaniacs just waiting to seduce us.

In addition, we will be told, the models used by Waterhouse for the picture were exploited — they were the Victorian equivalents of those skimpily clad waitresses and prostitutes at the Presidents Club, the men-only charity event at the Dorchester Hotel in London that shocked so many modern sensibilities after claims they had been pawed and groped.

Many Victorian painters — like painters throughout European history — chose poor, young working-class girls simply for their looks as models. These women were street-wise and commonly worked as actresses or barmaids, but they also found employment in seedier walks of life and were often forced into prostitution.

Waterhouse, so the conversation will go, exploited these women and should be on the #MeToo blacklist, while those men who enjoy his pictures are no better.

Once the gallery’s ‘conversation’ takes hold, why should it stop at Hylas And The Nymphs? Next month, Tate Britain will hold a major exhibition of Picasso, arguably the most interesting, certainly one of the most arresting, painters of the 20th century — a giant, whatever you think of him.

s3

- Erotically charged: Corregio's Leda and the Swan graphically depicts the seduction of a young girl by Zeus, king of the gods in the form of a swan +8

One of the greatest works of modern art — a painting which changed the entire direction in which 20th-century painting would go — is Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, which hangs in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It depicts a group of prostitutes, shamelessly disporting themselves rather like the nymphs of classical myth but far more aggressively.

Picasso’s attitude to women was as politically incorrect as that of the Presidents Club, only much, much kinkier. As he got into his stride, his portraits of those he seduced — and there were hundreds — suggest a view of women which was often downright nasty.

s4

- Landmark: Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon shockingly depicts prostitutes, but changed the course of modern art +8

Women’s mouths or their genitalia in his pictures are often jagged like the claws of lobsters. He saw women as exploitative, manipulative, destructive, just as many of us today would see his idea of women as depraved. But this does not stop the pictures being great works of art.

I can see the argument leading to the point where the vociferous politically correct minority insist no painting can ‘objectify’ women, let alone depict abuse by men.

Titian’s stupendous depiction of Tarquin And Lucretia on display in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge (one of the greatest works of Western Art) would be banned.

Painted by great Renaissance master in his 80s in 1571, it depicts the violent moment Tarquin, son of the last king of Rome, raped Lucretia after threatening to kill her if she rejected his advances. The next day she exposed him and committed suicide, prompting the Romans to revolt and overthrow Tarquin’s father and establish the Roman Republic.

s5

- Violent: Titan depicts a brutal sexual assault in Tarquin and Lucretia, on display in Cambridge +8

No longer would we be allowed to see the white-breasted form of Venus in Bronzino’s Allegory With Venus And Cupid in the National Gallery in London, or the naked sculptures of homoerotic (under-age) male teenagers depicted in the stunning Greek sculpture galleries in the British Museum. All because the taste police would tut-tut with disapproval.

You’d have to cover your eyes in Paris in case you had the misfortune to see Edouard Manet’s celebrated Le Dejeuner Sur l’Herbe: what could be more depraved and kinky than a fully clothed young man eating a picnic with a totally naked young woman. Presumably, Manet was a member of the Presidents Club? Almost certainly a friend of Harvey Weinstein.

Gauguin’s paintings of underage Polynesian girls with whom he had slept; Correggio’s erotically charged Leda And The Swan; these would be beyond the pale.

I can see modern puritanism reaching the point where it demands the removal of all naked human forms in our art galleries and museums.

s6

- Naked beauty: Bronzino's Allegory with Venus and Cupid in the National Gallery +8

At my Oxford college, we used to smile at the puritanism of our Victorian forebears. In the 18th century, Sir Joshua Reynolds, the greatest painter of his day, executed some wonderful windows for the chapel. A hundred years later, the Victorian Head of College ordered that the naked figure of Adam be clothed like Tarzan in a leopard-skin.

But the truth is that we are now far more puritanical than that Victorian don. Because in our generation, we do not simply object to depictions of nakedness. We take a high moral tone towards our ancestors and think our attitude is always morally superior to theirs.

We should resist this philistinism with every ounce of energy we possess. The history of Western Art began in fifth and fourth-century BC Athens, when sculptors began to depict the naked human form.

The fifth century depiction of Athene by the greatest sculptor of antiquity, Phidias, was much more than just a moment in the history of art. By studying and depicting the human body, the Greeks made humanity itself central to their society. From this sprang the study of philosophy, medicine, and politics — theirs is the cradle of all we believe to be civilised.

s7

- 'Depraved and kinky'...but great art: Manet's masterpiece Le Dejeuner Sur L'Herbe shows fully clothed men picnicking with naked women +8

Of course there always have been unpleasant artists who exploited women and had perverse sexual tastes. Eric Gill, the great sculptor whose statue of Shakespeare’s Prospero and Ariel adorns the entry to the BBC, in Portland Place, London, was revealed 30 years ago to be a libidinous sex pest who even slept with two of his own daughters.

But if we ban all works the politically correct brigade consider offensive, we will end up with the equivalent of Oliver Cromwell’s Puritans smashing stained glass windows in Westminster Abbey or the Taliban blowing up Buddhist statues because they are ‘idolatrous’.

We should recognise that we are in the middle of a desperate cultural clash. On the one hand, there is the civilised majority which looks back, ultimately, to the Ancient Greeks for our view of politics, democracy and intellectual freedom — a story that began with the celebration of the human nude.

s8

- Naked beauty: Bronzino's Allegory With Venus and Cupid in the National Gallery

On the other hand are the philistine minority, who come in all sorts of politically correct disguises, but who fundamentally wish to restrict freedom of thought, coerce us and rewrite our history.

Yesterday, many expressed their anger at the gallery’s decision. In a post on its website, self-proclaimed feminist Annas Eskander was outraged, saying: ‘Do we not live in a liberal and civilised society where the job of the curator is to enlighten, not to impose their own beliefs on others?’

Our conversation with Manchester Art Gallery should be a short one. ‘Waterhouse was a not very good, but quite charming, painter. His Hylas And The Nymphs has many fans. Please put it back.’

Bron : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/



 
 
 
 
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