A photo student at Brigham Young University in Utah has had his pictures removed, without his knowledge, from a student show on campus due to the subject matter of the images. The first-hand story on his blog, appropriately titled Censorship Sucks.
(Update 12/10: Apparently the pictures are back up in the gallery: article from Deseret News)
Apparently the topic of homosexuality is a bit much for the BYU audience and my part of our Fine Art Classes show was taken down today. It seems that censorship is favored over support and love. This really saddens me. I found out because a friend of mine went to the show and said that my peices (sic) had been removed and the show had been rearranged.
From the artist’s statement:
These portraits are of BYU students who identify themselves as homosexual and a person that supports them. This support person could be a family member, friend or may also identify themselves as homosexual and both people may provide support to each other. I have not included labels with these portraits as I feel that labels only create separation and division and further ungrounded stereotypes. We never know who may identify themselves as homosexual and I felt that not labeling these images would force us as a society to question what it is to be homosexual.
While we don’t appear to have any response from the school which, I’ll add, is a private institution and more or less gets to do what it wants in circumstances like this (I think? please correct me if I’m wrong), it makes sense that they took the photos down because of their content. It certainly isn’t because the work is not strong… I trust the photographer when he says so.
There are comments pouring in on the pages (since I first saw it posted a couple hours ago) and I’m pretty sure this story will have some legs, so hopefully we will learn more. I’ll pass on anything I find.
Be sure to click on the photo and look at some of the other diptychs from the series, I think they’re quite good. Ultimately, my point here is that I think these photos deserve to be seen.
(Via Dan Savage at SLOG)