What 'controversial' photos were done with NEA funding?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by WarEaglemtn, Dec 11, 2005.

  1. WarEaglemtn

    WarEaglemtn Member

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    I hear Jesse Helms & the others still bellowing about NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) funding 'crap', 'pornography' and all kinds of obscene artworks. Is anyone able to show/name any photographers that these jokers would consider having done this type of photo who actually did it with NEA funding?

    Mapplethorpe never got a dime from this program. His controversial images that these guys yell about were shown in a gallery that used NEA money for the exhibit. Just fine with me that it was supported by us taxpayers. But, for all the yelling, Helms & crowd don't know what they are talking about. The artist didn't get the funds from the public trough.

    I am trying to find out if anyone used as a whipping boy by those trying to cut NEA has actually created the artworks constantly trotted out as 'crap' by these censorial types.
     
  2. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    I think a lot of this NEA hoopla is by default. Many galleries and museums funded by the NEA which show "controversial" shows and then the artists is confused as having NEA funding. Do remember the one about the virgin Mary done with some animal turds? I think this was one of those cases........ The again, what the hell are you doing listening to Helms, you deserve the high blood pressure just for not switching the channel as soon as you see his face.... :smile:
     
  3. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Helms has been out of office since 2003, and I don't think we've had an NEA controversy for a few years.

    There was the case of the "NEA Four"--performance artists Karen Finley, Tim Miller, John Fleck, and Holly Hughes--who were awarded funding, but their funding was revoked in 1990. In court they were awarded compensation greater than their original grants in 1993. Not photography, but it might be what you're looking for.

    Andres Serrano of "Piss Christ" fame received an NEA grant that was revoked, and also received an earlier grant from an organization that was partially funded by the NEA.

    Chris Ofili, whom Jorge mentions for his portrait of the Virgin with elephant dung, is a British artist of African descent, so he wouldn't be an NEA candidate. The Brooklyn Museum may have received NEA funding, but as I recall, the controversy was over New York City funding for the museum, not the NEA, since it was driven by Rudolph Giuliani.
     
  4. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    You may remember the big blow up over Jock Sturges photographs of nude children in France as part of his studies of a French women and her daughters. I think the FBI got involved as well as the justice department over allegations of child pornography. (Allegations that I strongly disagreed with)

    Anyway, I remember a stink over some museums displaying the work or purchasing work with those museums being protested because they received tax dollars for funding. I don't remeber specifics if that had anything to do with NEA monies.
     
  5. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Robert Mapplethorpe comes to mind....
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Mapplethorpe never received an NEA grant (as the original poster acknowledges). The controversy was over museums supported by the NEA showing his work posthumously.
     
  7. tim atherton

    tim atherton Inactive

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    Republicans, Dadaists Declare War On Art

    WASHINGTON, DC¬óCiting the "proliferation of immoral and offensive material throughout America's museums and schools," and waving placards emblazoned with agit-prop fotocollage reading, "diE KUnst ISt tOT, DadA ubEr aLLes" ("Art is dead, dada over all"), a coalition of leading Republican congressional conservatives and early 20th-century Dadaists declared war on art in a joint press conference Monday.

    Anti-art crusaders Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC) and Dadaist provocateur Tristan Tzara call for the dismantling of the institutions regulating public art in a joint press conference Monday.
    Calling for the elimination of federal funding for the National Endowment for the Arts; the banning of offensive art from museums and schools; and the destruction of the "hoax of reason" in our increasingly random, irrational and meaningless age, the Republicans and Dadaists were unified in their condemnation of the role of the artist in society today.

    "Homosexuals and depraved people of every stripe are receiving federal monies at taxpayer expense for the worst kind of filth imaginable," said U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC), a longtime NEA critic.

    Dadaist Jean Arp agreed. "Dada is, like nature, without meaning. Dada is for nature and against art," he said.

    Added nonsense-poet Hugo Ball, founder of Zurich's famed Cabaret Voltaire: "...'dada' ('Dada'). Adad Dada Dada Dada." Donning an elaborate, primitivist painted paper mask, he then engaged reporters in a tragico-absurd dance, contorting wildly while bellowing inanities.

    Helms, well known for his opposition to arts funding, was adamant in his demand for the elimination of the NEA from the national budget.

    "The American people will no longer stand for vulgar, nonsensical displays that masquerade as art," said Helms, who, along with U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), demanded the passage of obscenity laws granting police and government officials broader powers in the prosecution and censorship of art.

    In a show of solidarity with the Republican legislators, Andre Breton, who founded the surrealist movement in 1923, fired a pistol at random into the crowd, conceptually evoking the hideous irrationality of the collective unconscious and wounding Hatch.

    Urging reporters to "imagine a boot stamping on a face, eternally," Breton, along with Max Picabia, the most radical anti-art proponent within the Dadaist camp, then theatrically demonstrated Helms' vision. In a collaborative staged "manifestation," Picabia pencilled a series of drawings, which Breton erased as Picadia went along.

    "So-called modern art is, at its core, an absurd and purposeless exercise," Helms said, echoing the Dadaists' illustration of the meaninglessness of art. He then announced the Gramm-Helms Decency Act, a bill that would facilitate the legal prosecution of obscenity, as well as establish stiffer penalities for the creators and exhibitors of "morally objectionable works."

    Dadaist leaders were even more strident than Helms, stressing the need for the elimination of not only art, but also of dada itself. "To be a Dadaist means to be against dada," Arp said. "Dada equals anti-dada." Urging full-scale rioting, the assembled Dadaists called for their own destruction, each of them alternately running into the audience to pelt those still on stage with tomatoes.

    In a gesture honoring Helms and the new bill, seminal anti-artist Marcel Duchamp drew a moustache and beard on a reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. Duchamp titled the resultant image "L.H.O.O.Q.," a series of initials which, when pronounced in French, forms the sentence "Helms au chaud au cul," or "Helms has hot pants."

    Centered in Berlin, Paris and Zurich, the Dadaist movement was launched as a reaction of revulsion to the senseless butchery of World War I. "While the guns rumbled in the distance," Arp said, "we had a dim premonition that power-mad gangsters would one day use art itself as a means of deadening men's minds."

    When told of Arp's comments, Helms said he was "fairly certain" that he concurred.
     
  8. WarEaglemtn

    WarEaglemtn Member

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    "Andres Serrano of "Piss Christ" fame received an NEA grant that was revoked, and also received an earlier grant from an organization that was partially funded by the NEA."

    Any info on whether Serrano created anything considered controversial by those who keep hollering about it while he was using grant money?

    As for Orrin Hatch & Helms. These guys are more scary than what they try to suppress.

    The NEA censors pop up on the radar screen when they want attention. I am just trying to find out information as to what reality is. I know many who are castigated never received NEA money yet they are continually used by the CensorNuts as posterboys for why it is all wrong.
     
  9. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    YOu are right, it was Rudy making the big stink........not one of his finest moments.
     
  10. roteague

    roteague Member

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    http://www.msnbc.com/onair/nbc/dateline/nea/

    "Throughout its existence, controversy over the NEA has surrounded grants given to display works such as the erotic photographs of Robert Mapplethorpe..."

    MSNBC thinks differently.
     
  11. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The grants went to the museums displaying the work, not to the artist to produce the work, as far as I can tell, and the MSNBC quote is consistent with that.
     
  12. WarEaglemtn

    WarEaglemtn Member

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    In my request to the NEA offices I received a reply on the Serrano 'piss Christ' image that has caused so much controversy.

    "No, the Serrano photo was not created with NEA funds."

    Next time the Washington/PC crowd gets their knickers in a twist at least I know reality and can speak with some knowledge. The monies for galleries and public display is where things get confused by so many apparently.