Those days are over? Well, not exactly!
A current art exhibition which is showing at an art gallery in Melbourne uses the fuck word in its title. But this word is forbidden to the Melburnians because the newspapers publicising information about the exhibition are writing the word as f--k! Oh dear, how pathetic!
In a separate but unrelated episode, a very famous "left-wing" blog has censored out the use of the word sex, sending it out in articles as "s-x".
These are both examples of self-censorship and what we were very accustomed to in South Africa during the apartheid police state years.
When are they all going to grow up and stop doing the work of the censors for them. What, after all, are they paid for? In any event the new conservative government will be even more reactionary than the previous conservative government, and censorship will soon increase even more alarmingly.
Here are two recent articles from The Age newspaper about artist Paul Yore and his new exhibition and his forthcoming prosecution of a previous exhibition on grounds of child pornography after ONE complaint from a member of the public who paid for admission to a gallery to be able to make the complaint:
Legal action spurs artist to continue
Paul Yore, artist, was charged by Victoria Police after officers seized some of his artwork from a St Kilda gallery for child porn. Seen here with his latest piece.
Paul Yore with his latest work, Fountain of Knowledge. Photo: Jason South
Melbourne artist Paul Yore, who will face court in November on charges of possessing and producing child pornography, has vowed to continue creating art that deals with his recurrent themes of sex and popular culture.
Ahead of two new exhibitions of his work in Melbourne and Sydney, Yore has spoken about the impact of the controversial seizure of pieces from his Everything is F---ed installation at St Kilda's Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts in June.
''With the police raid, that's a response that I could have never imagined for the work,'' he told Fairfax Media.
''But in a weird way, in dealing with the despair of the situation that I'm currently in, what I've taken from it is a reaffirmation of the need to make such work, the need to put things together from society that shows and reveals what they are."
Police moved on the Linden exhibition after acting on a complaint from a member of the public, seizing parts of Yore's work that allegedly showed images of sex acts with children's faces superimposed.
In what is expected to become a landmark case testing the boundaries of artistic expression, charges were laid against Yore on Friday.
City gallery Neon Parc, whose owner Geoff Newton curated the Like Mike show at Linden featuring the controversial Yore work, will reveal Yore's latest piece Fountain of Knowledge on Wednesday. Made during a recent residency at the Australian Tapestry Workshop, the large, hand-stitched wall hanging is trademark Yore: figures frolic around a central phallus spraying a rainbow of beads and felt applique. It is bordered by squares spelling ''playland'' and ''dystopia''.
Mr Newton is also taking another Yore piece, a huge site-specific installation, to the inaugural Sydney Contemporary art fair next week.
Arts on Wednesday -Dan Rule speaks to Paul Yore, the man behind the controversy.
Psychedelic dystopia, a vision of our mad world
Paul Yore seems relieved to be talking about art.
Softly spoken and articulate, the 25-year-old prefaces his wildly colourful and expansive work with a particular consideration and scrutiny. Collecting, compiling and reconstituting discarded toys, consumerist objects, pop-cultural posters and texts, Yore's immersive sculptural installations and hyper-detailed needlepoint works have garnered acclaim in art circles for their playful broaching of identity politics, sexuality, consumerist excess and the power of vernacular images and texts.
''I've always seen text as an extension of the assemblage or collage, where you're taking disparate sources and mashing them together,'' he says of his work, which has been shown at Heide Museum of Modern Art, Gertrude Contemporary, Federation Square, various council and artist-run galleries, and will be on show at city gallery Neon Parc from Wednesday (although its official opening is Thursday night). ''I'm really obsessed by this idea that a Britney Spears lyric could be just as important as a Socratic fragment.''
The statement points to both the playfulness and critical intent of Yore's often homoerotic work, which acknowledges the power of language, pedagogy and the pervasiveness and implications of pop-cultural images and objects. In works such as his vast installation at the Substation gallery in Newport this February, shrines to Justin Bieber, urinating dildos, phallic totems, sensor-triggered robotics and sound and psychedelic needlepoint knotted and coalesced.
''There's definitely an archaeological or anthropological approach that runs through the work,'' says Yore, who studied painting and anthropology at Monash University. ''It's partly about the potential to transform what is depressing shit into something that at least acknowledges the meaninglessness and wastefulness of it.''
But it's the sexualised content within Yore's work that brought him all the wrong kind of publicity in June, when a segment of his installation, Everything is F---ed - showing at Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts in St Kilda as part of a tribute exhibition to the late Mike Brown (who in 1966 became the only Australian artist to be successfully prosecuted for obscenity) - was seized by police following a complaint from an audience member. Last Friday, days after the announcement of Yore's new show at Neon Parc, Fountain of Knowledge, he was charged with producing and possessing child pornography. The charges have rocked the Melbourne art world and several people, including prominent artist Juan Davila, have come out in defence of the young artist. Speaking on Monday, Neon Parc director Geoff Newton, who curated the exhibition from which Yore's works were seized and will show his work at the coming Sydney Contemporary art fair, said only that the charges ''will be vigorously defended''.
Acting on legal advice, Yore is unwilling to comment on the charges. However, Fountain of Knowledge, his large-scale felt-applique work for his exhibition at Neon Parc, suggests he's also unwilling to shy away from the homoerotic themes for which he's become known, with naked male figures dancing around a hot-pink phallic totem, the words ''playland'' and ''dystopia'' bordering the image.
Yore describes the work, which he created as part of a residency at the Australian Tapestry Workshop following the events at Linden, as ''rainbow coloured, psychedelic and a bit apocalyptic with dark undercurrents'', the dualistic qualities of place and culture playing out in a colourful schism.
''This particular piece is about language acquisition,'' says Yore. ''This idea that at a young age you're taught to make these linguistic differentiations and you're kind of stuck with that. And they're these really deep-rooted dualistic things, like male or female or colours that reduce an endless spectrum to this really limited set of categories, like red or green.''
Yore says that the events at Linden have only reaffirmed his commitment to making such work. ''With the police raid, that's a response that I could have never imagined for the work … in a weird way, in dealing with the despair of the situation that I'm currently in, what I've taken from it is a reaffirmation of the need to make such work, the need to put things together from society that shows and reveals what they really are.
''This new work is a response partly to what has happened,'' he says. ''I'm still willing to broach phallic imagery and homoerotic imagery in my work because that's not a crime.''
Fountain of Knowledge is on until October 5 at Neon Parc.