Spear move sets 'crucial precedent'

2012-10-11 22:28

Johannesburg - A decision by the Film and Publications Board's (FPB) Appeal Tribunal to overturn the classification of The Spear artwork was welcomed by the Goodman Gallery on Thursday.

"This victory has cemented the gallery’s mission to uphold its status as an activist space, dedicated to nurturing freedom of creative expression in South Africa," it said in a statement.

"It has also set a crucial precedent for the future of visual art in this country. We believe that it was extremely important to legally challenge the principle of censorship of the arts."

FPB spokesman Prince Ndamase said on Wednesday this meant the painting was no longer subject to a rating of 16N, which the board introduced in July.

The Goodman Gallery appealed against the classification on 17 September, on the grounds that it was "impermissible and unsustainable".

The gallery said the tribunal, chaired by University of KwaZulu-Natal Professor Karthy Govender, agreed with the gallery's argument that the painting could not be described as "sexual conduct" under the Films and Publications Act.

"The argument of the Films and Publications Board that the display of nudity is presumptively harmful to children cannot be correct," the gallery said.

"The argument would imply that Pablo Picasso's Nude Youth painting and Michelangelo's sculpture of David would be deemed presumptively harmful for children."

The Spear, painted by Cape Town-based artist Brett Murray, depicted President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed.

  • adrian.hill.750 - 2012-10-11 22:36

    What a joke.

      atholl.canterbury - 2012-10-11 23:58

      Big Joke = FPB The painting has nothing to do with nude. The 'freedom of creative expression' is the artist's reference to Lenin. ie. Jacob Zuma = Vladimir Lenin or Vladimir Zuma = Jacob Lenin so the FPB want the Lenin message hidden from children ? maybe that's why schoolbooks are not distributed. According to the FPB Children must not be educated -- especially if their education will be inconvenient.

  • glen.e.huysamer - 2012-10-11 22:41

    The Spear moved...? or the Spear made a crucial move...?

      glen.e.huysamer - 2012-10-11 22:42

      or the "precedents' spear is in a crucial move?

  • geronimo.feather - 2012-10-11 22:55

    Well done to the Goodman Gallery for a successful appeal. But *sigh* I must mention this AGAIN: "The Spear, painted by Cape Town-based artist Brett Murray, depicted President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed." PLEASE get it RIGHT: The Spear, painted by Cape Town-based artist Brett Murray, depicted President Jacob Zuma with AN ARTIST'S IMPRESSION OF his genitals exposed. Prez JayZee didn't pose for the painting, it's not real. The depiction is a figment of the artist's imagination. So how can anyone truly be offended by something that is not real?

      mzondistanley - 2012-10-12 09:44

      You are contradicting yourself by acknowledging that the Artis is indeed figmenting with the Image of President!! You are down right fooling your self!! Painting even directed at my Parents in a bad test shall result in me fighting you!!! with your dirty hunger for money!!!

      uraharabluekisuke - 2012-10-12 10:01

      Like the article says: most artists who have painted nude pictures shouldn't have to worry about censorship of their paintings. It is not like they paint people participating in an orgy. @Mzimba58, I don't think Brett Murray wanted to be offensive, even though to many black people he may have been. I wouldn't want my parent to be depicted in anything other than what she/he is. I'm a young African person, but whether I grew up in the 70s or 90s, my head tells me that Zuma's actions have not been of a presidential standard, for any race! If the law feels he is bigger than itself, it s unfortunate that the same cannot be said about public scrutiny. It's a democratic way, where the law fails, people have the final say

  • B.b. - 2012-10-12 07:39

    Calm down guys,,,Zuma didn't pause for the painting, but it was all in the artist's imaginations. President Zuma's genitals were not exposed. U'll have to understand arts before u publishing any article about it. Zuma's dignity doesn't rely on the paintings, but his background as a liberal. Zuma was imprisoned at the Robben Island,,,after he was released, he ran away to the nearest countries for political asylum,,,the reason y u don't see him making noise about all these it's because he knows the difference between cheap politics and valuable (expensive) politics,,,

  • charlesdumbwin.dumbwin - 2012-10-12 07:45

    Haha, I was just going to say the headline should have read, 'The presidents spear-moves are crucial'.

  • berni.venter - 2012-10-12 07:53

    Ayanda Mabulu exhibited a VERY graphic painting of JZ's tools (Umshini Wam) a few weeks after the whole Spear debacle. Ironically,not one objection, no mass hysteria or defacing as in Brett Murray's case. Also no hysterical FBP comments or hearings. Seems like we have two different sets or rules in South Africa.

      Kagiso Tlhakung - 2012-10-12 08:05

      Ayanda Mabulu is jst a stupid attention seeker who thought he could use controversy to raise the price of his nonsense piece. He was ignored nw he seems more than a fool. I'm sure he hasn't found a buyer for that nonsense, him and Murray are gay.

  • cliffadams007 - 2012-10-12 07:59

    Boys have genitals since birth, girls see it from a tender age and "it don't have to be explained" but sex education is obviously necessary at some stage. Why hasn't a picture of the original painting appeared in the media, pre or post declasssification Or did I miss out?

      Kagiso Tlhakung - 2012-10-12 08:07

      yes great question...

  • chirnsidep - 2012-10-12 08:18

    So what happened to the painting of Zuma with his shlong exposed done by that black artist in CT?

      sihlangu.hokweni - 2012-10-13 13:45

      U can ask that question again,because is it ony a problem if his spear is painted by a white artist

  • mzondistanley - 2012-10-12 09:33

    This ruling by a so called Proffessor is ridiculous in the sense that President Zuma is intitled to his Gut feelings since he is alive and a Head of State of the Country !! He has the right tom Diginity!! If you can not respect him and his Culture but then Respect his Office!!! This is not American Culture where anything goes!!Michael Angello and others are not Rulers of South African Republic!! After all they are Dead. Stop abusing freedom of Speech and Association at the Expence of others!! You are fueling Discontent and Hatred amoungst South African Cultures at a time when you should be uniting them!! Whites believe in Divide and rile and undermining Governance issues under an ANC government yet you do not do the same to Aparthead Governments !!! You Hypocrits!!!

      jacques.erasmus.984 - 2012-11-01 16:37

      Terry Pratchett : 'Multiple exclamation marks,' he went on, shaking his head, 'are a sure sign of a diseased mind.'

  • sihlangu.hokweni - 2012-10-12 09:37

    GOTCHA!SERVES THEM WELL,I mean the FPB because instead of being INDEPENDENT,they dance to the MACHIAVERIC SHENANIGANS of the cANCer.

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-10-12 13:26

    Hasn't this melodrama gone on long enough?.

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