A few months ago my friend, Doug Minkler, asked me if I would be interested in exhibiting with him and another artist in Berkeley's Addison Street Windows. I was excited about having an opportunity to show my work in Berkeley since I had lived there and had never exhibited anywhere other that at UC.
What followed ended up being my first experience with censorship of my work. We were told by the curator that we could show work but that certain "proscriptions would apply". According to her:
"As this is a public art space where the work is viewed from the sidewalk 24 hours a day to wide audience including young children, we do not show explicit sex or violence or guns - that is deadly weapons, i.e. as seen in your victory to the intifada poster, and the woman with the machine gun bullets crossed over her chest. Those images would not be included."
Doug and I fought the good fight and took our concerns about these unpublished "procscriptions" that we were supposed to abide by to the Berkeley Arts Council. We requested transparency and never received any clear answers only an invitation to help the council create a clearer censorship policy. We lost the show and never got any answers.
It turns out we are just one group of many who have been censored so we are taking collective action with our good friends at Art of Democracy we decided to take collective action and call attention to the City of Berkeley's hypocrisy.
... Come and join us at Pueblo Nuevo Gallery to see the censored art in the home of Free Speech. Saturday, November 8, 2008 - 4 pm - 11 pm
Live screenprinting, music, street side display of the censored art, and a gallery full of uncensored art.
Pueblo Nuevo Gallery
1828 San Pablo Avenue, Suite 1
One block north of University Avenue in Berkeley
Open Friday through Monday 12 - 5
Or call for appointment 510 452-7363
November 8 - November 30, 2008