Litkicks Message Board Archive

Further Clarification

Posted to Poetry and Politics




To the best of my recollection, there were no allegations of child pornography levelled at the Mapplethorpe exhibition. I believe the objectionable images dealt with consensual BDSM sexual pratices between adults.

The NEA is a publically-funded, government-run grants program for deserving artists. Political & ideological considerations aside, I believe that Robert Mapplethorpe is universally considered an accomplished artist.

If one looks at the percentage of money that goes to the NEA vs the percentage which goes to a myriad of other "tax payer" funded programs and initiatives, one will see that the NEA, far from being a threat to the fabric of conservative American life, is essentially inconsequential in the over all scheme of things.

Now, if one wants to talk about "objectionable" "tax-payer" programs and initiatives, then I, for one, object to the use of my tax money going to fund bloated Pentagon weapons programs, the results of which are seen, sadly, in such "made in America" products as cluster bombs, landmines, and "smart bombs".

I'd rather look at a Mapplethorpe cala lily, with all its languid elegance, than images of Third World children and peasants missing arms and legs, the outcome of their innocent encounters with US tax-payer funded armaments.

Finally, regarding Serrano's imagery. How do you know that
"The message was hate to most the heard" (sic)? How do you know WHAT Serrano intended his image to communicate??

You don't. You simply interpreted the image in a way that suits your conservative agenda. The "hate" you see emenates from within. It is not an intrinsic aspect of the photograph.

And that proves the great thing about Art. It provokes the viewer, makes them think, and can mean different things to different people.

See what you want to see, but let EVERYONE see and decide for themselves what the Art means.