Artist’s nudes ‘censored’

2014-11-07 08:00

A prominent Joburg photographer is accusing a printing company of censorship after they refused – at the last minute – to print a catalogue containing nude pictures for her forthcoming exhibition #Transitions: In Search of an Authentic Queer, which is due to open in two weeks’ time at the respected Goethe-Institut gallery.

According to Dean Hutton, the company, Remata Cross Media Solutions, received her artwork, talked through her project with her, accepted her deposit and even scheduled the printing of the book of photos.

At no point did they object to the images. Then, just before the printing was to begin, she received a call from the company informing her that the job had been rejected.

In an open letter to Remata on her blog, Hutton writes: “I received a call from someone at your office, saying that you have a policy to not print nude pictures and would not accept the job.

Hutton says that at no point was she told of Remata’s nudity policy and has not received it despite requesting it.

“By failing on numerous occasions to advise and clearly notify me of your ‘no-nudity’ policy, you stand in violation of the Consumer Protection Act (No. 68, 2008). In addition, your refusal – at very late notice – to print my catalogue, has not only compromised my exhibition but amounts (for arbitrary reasons) to censorship and a violation of my constitutional right to freedom of expression, human dignity, and a violation of my right to equality.”

City Press contacted Remata to request the policy and hear their side of the story. We were told that the company director would contact us, but he failed to do so.

“I doubt that Remata printers has a formalised policy against printing nudity,” said Hutton when called for comment.

“How is it even possible in this day to completely blank out nudity in publishing? I can only assume that their discomfort lies with the kind of body present in my catalogue. It is not the normative nudity of a pretty young bokkie getting her kit off in the service of capitalism, but is the nudity of the queer body standing proud in opposition to hetronormative values.”

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