20 May 2010

Crap art, fat, obscenity and censorship

Photo of vomiting woman removed from Leamington show

This news story made me cackle today because it's like a neat little Venn Diagram of my pet peeves and obsessions: terrible, ill-conceived, poorly-executed and pretentious art; fat panic; hand-wringing parochial community projects that bite off more than they can chew; nudity; vomiting; deathfat and abjection; obscenity; censorship; and the media, especially the BBC, as a faulty amplifier of all these things. Bring it on!

I have little compassion for any of the people involved apart from the poor fatties whose pictures were used and then taken down because they were deemed obscene. Fuck John Yeadon for perpetuating the most crass stereotypes about fat people with a particular pomposity reserved for Serious Artist Guys who are certain they have something important to say about the human condition. This work is plainly rubbish. Fuck him too for whining about censorship and trying to leverage some moral authority out of the situation. And fuck the 150 Gallery for commissioning this shower of shite.

It's hard to know where to start with this story because it's so bizarre, the detail about the vegetarian café is farcical. But I'm interested in the theme of obscenity. I'm not sure what is being called obscene here: the pictures of fat people, fat itself, fat women puking, the use of these images in the exhibition, or their positioning next to a place where people are eating.

Whilst I think that the world would be a better place if we all got along nicely, I also love it when fat people, and images of us, are disruptive and upsetting. I celebrate the obscenity of my own fat body, the tuts of those who are appalled by me, and people like me, are music to my ears. Assimilation is overrated. So I'm interested in what it is that upsets people about the images that were removed, and who is being upset, so that I can upset them some more.

I don't support censorship and I think the images should have been left up, perhaps with an apology from Yeadon. It's depressing that the images have been removed rather than being used as an opportunity to talk about this stuff. On the other hand, the 150 Gallery are clearly out of their depth and would have no means of facilitating such a dialogue. It's all a massive cock-up and such a wasted opportunity.

4 comments:

Miriam Heddy said...

Can I have you cloned and have the clone CC shipped to NYC so I can hang out with her?

Seriously, I have nothing to add to your post here because I agree with it all, but I just wanted to say that I really appreciate the rad insight you bring to things.

Charlotte Cooper said...

Thanks for the love.

I'm going to be in NYC in November. We can hang out.

ltl said...

Assimilation is overrated. So I'm interested in what it is that upsets people about the images that were removed, and who is being upset, so that I can upset them some more.

Love that.

I'm reminded of a show of photographs of burlesque-y fat femmes that was cancelled near the last minute at Affirmations, the LGBT community center in Ferndale, the queer suburb of Detroit. I don't remember the details, but hearing it'd been deemed controversial SO made me want to look.

-- Fflo

Charlotte Cooper said...

I have been to Affirmations! It doesn't surprise me that they are censorious.