Category Archives: censorship

ask me anything

i hate interviews, i hate being asked things, so for some incomprehensible reason i decided to make an “ask trevor anything” blog

it actually stemmed from a post someone made on instagram asking “how can an american artist become popular in japan” – as i was tagged in the post i decided to click the comment button: “i think the same answer to how can an american artist become popular in america? – popularity is generally hideous and not something to aspire to anyway, imho (just look at the accounts that have hundreds of thousands of followers here on instagram” – then the very next thing i see on instagram totally corroborated what i just wrote – some “artist” with 90k followers posting an (uncredited) direct copy of one of my paintings generating 4k likes and 160 comments – urgh!, very irritating, especially when finding his “ask me anything” page bitching/bragging about dozens of artists he claimed were copying him! – disbelief!!

me signing up with tumblr wasn’t straighforward of course – i was surprised to find my email already in use – then when trying to log in with it to request a password change i got a “your account is terminated” screen – my memory is very bad but i think ten or fifteen years ago (in the livejournal / myspace era) i did briefly have a tumblr account – which didn’t pass the tumblr fitness test (not enough porn and gore etc which tumblr is a happy playground for today!) – kinda shocking they apparently ban you forever?! – i shot a message to contact support – no answer!! – i never shall know what incredibly heinous crime i allegedly committed to warrant a life sentence – happily i was able to sign up after making a new email

so i now have an ask me anything page – here! – it’ll soon get repetitive and boring (or simply die) i suspect – already within the first half dozen questions there was already two people asking if i’m into scat! : (

“please do not read”

not that you even have the opportunity to read – this is some english student class college magazine/book published several months ago – “chaffey review ix”, a 239 page “innocence and experience” theme issue – i was asked to contribute and obliged (unpaid of course) – originally they asked for “teddy bear operation” but then changed their mind and asked for “bloodsucker” – so it appears the book came out and was immediately “yanked off shelves” by uncertain powers-that-be – and returned the next day with graphic content warning stickers attached – a poem containing the words “bang bang bang” seems to be held most responsible as it drew associations to a school shooting – but art also singled out: “paintings of a woman in bondage gear, a nude man with a bear head and another painting that substitutes popsicles for male genitals” (the latter referring to my “bloodsucker” painting i presume???)

naturally this “controversy” made me more piqued to get my promised complimentary copy – but nothing received except an email several weeks later saying they are now “freed” to send out copies – but still no copy received – and my subsequent enquiry ignored – after another enquiry last month they claimed they never had my address and “apologize for the inconvenience” – a euphemism for “who cares” as i’m still here expectantly waiting at my letterbox day after day for a parcel that hasn’t been sent – no answer to my latest letter – i give up, screw ’em!, who cares! – why did i get involved in such lame vanity publishing? – bang bang bang

everything is fxxxxd

artist paul yore (25) could be charged with producing and possessing child pornography after police, acting on a complaint, seized a number of works from a melbourne gallery on saturday – they were part of an installation made from collected “junk” entitled “everything is fucked” (!) – the exhibition came with warnings re viewer discretion and unsuitability for children due to potentially offensive images – most notably a cut out of a child’s body with justin bieber’s head superimposed and urinating from a dildo – the victoria child pornography law defined to include photographs of children who are, or look like they are, under the age of 16 engaging in sexual activity or depicted in an indecent sexual manner or context – so, if charges are made, paul yore could face ten years jail…

(i’d never heard of justin bieber before!)

people against pornography and sexual violence

this is something i somehow failed to blog about before – and something i feel a need to quickly rectify now in the light of developments in the previous post (or two?) – (and now having been brought back down to earth with a bump after my exhibition euphoria) – sorry for belated blogging of “old news”

the mori art museum staged the first major solo museum show of aida makoto earlier this year (november 2012 to march 2013 in fact) – the exhibition came with warnings about disturbing subject matter – and the sexually explicit works were considerately displayed in a specially designated room marked as suitable for 18 year old or over only

despite such measures protests and controversy broke out, led by a group calling themselves (of herself?!) “people against pornography and sexual violence” – i recently found a site with english translations of their protest letters – seems they were chiefly offended by the “dog” series (amputee girls) and other overtly “misogynistic” works – which they state “are products of child sexual abuse and commercial sexual exploitation” – they condemned the museum for staging the exhibition and called for works “that injure the dignity of women” to be removed – also requesting a two hour meeting to discuss the matter

the museum stood in support of aida makoto and declined to act in censoring the works – and stated “the ability of individuals to express and present freely a range of opinions is a positive aspect of japanese society” (a freedom about to be thrown away?!) – this didn’t appease the protesters of course who repeated their child pornography allegations and countered that the works say nothing (aida makoto might perversely agree, haha!) – they complained the reply did not address their protest and again demanded a meeting (“by, at the latest, the middle of february”) – the request apparently not entertained by the mori art museum – stalemate

it made for lots of press (free publicity!) and twittering – aida makoto typically being referred to incorrectly as a “manga artist” by english press – i saw my name crop up once or twice – also in regard to my own exhibition someone tweeted (google translation): “I was scared to feeling of freedom of Trevor Brown Exhibition. I wonder do Bunkamura. Such works is completely exposed to view state from a cafe in the center” – which was very true – my brightly lit works easily viewable by the cafe patrons – but i presume no complaints made – and young children were running round the gallery in delight! “kowakunai!”

the aida makoto exhibition catalogue – 250 pages, texts in japanese and english – it does repeat a lot of material from his previous monograph – which was also titled “monument for nothing”, just for confusion – (which in turn also repeats material from him first monograph “lonely planet”) – a must-buy nevertheless

as a further aside: a “best of trevor brown” (selected by the artist) compilation book was being discussed yesterday – as it may become illegal for me to own my own books, a new book suggested, that i can keep, that includes no images newly defined as child pornography (yeah right!, it’s going to be a very slim book?!)

protection of nonexistent children

a bill is currently being proposed making amendments to child pornography laws in japan – possession will become a crime (currently only sale, distribution and creation is) – the bill has yet to be made public but said to be widening the definition of child pornography to include manga and anime and any depiction that might be construed as a child portrayed in a way that might be construed sexual – also encompassing literature, texts and emails – the japan book publishers association, opposing the bill, said in a statement: “while this bill says it is protecting children, the truth is it is also restricting freedom of expression” – we’ll know within a month if the bill is passed