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Jaine *
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Art for arts sake

I was lurking in the trademe (NZs version of ebay) forums today and came across an interesting plug for a discussion about a sculpture (and for the sculpture itself) that is up for auction now.

This sculpture is of three police batons that are shaped like penises, one red, one blue and one white.   To understand the premise of this sculpture some knowledge of NZ history and current social and political issues is required.  Just briefly; in 1981 the South African rugby team (The Spring Boks) toured in NZ.  The resulting clashes between anti-aparthied protesters and rugby fans split the nation in two.  Two special police squads, the Blue Squad and the Red Squad were established to deal with the protestors who were trying to stop games.   These specially formed squads were the first NZ police be issued with the long baton which became associated with state power and an abuse of power through its use in violent clashes with anti-apartheid protestors.  Furthermore the baton of the second in command of the Red Squad went up for auction on Trademe in 2005.   It created controversy in NZ and was sold to a South African collector for $20 000 (NZ).  Furthermore, recently in New Zealand there have been several police rape trials, with the baton an alleged modus operandi. 

I like art, but would I hang a sculpture like this in my living room - not blimmin likely. 

Do I like this piece as a vehicle for discussion about serious issues facing modern society - yes

Do I have concern that it may negatively impact and offend those already traumatised by police brutality - yes

Do I believe in freedom of expression - yes

Do I believe in the rights of victims not to be exploited for pecunairy gain - yes (in this instance the proceeds will be going to charity).

Where does all this leave me - totally confused!   I really like art, for it's own sake and for it's ability to provoke discussion and challenge conventional thinking.  Where does the line get drawn, for surely somewhere it must?  Mustn't it?

(If you wish to see what I am talking about, it can be viewed at http://www.emilmcavoy.com/)

over 13 years ago 0 likes  1 comments  0 shares
Photo 1967
I had no idea about that sculpture. I've only been slightly more interested in art since I got introduced to Mark Allen here. Otherwise, I didn't care much for art. Still don't all that much, but am a little more interested in photos and paintings. Mostly photos. I don't know what to think about this one. But I do think that people are no longer giving police a fair chance anymore. Not all police are bad. Just like not all people claiming to have been raped by them are telling the truth.
over 13 years ago

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