Police Confiscate Pornographic Justin Bieber Collage in Australia
December 5, 2019
|Paul Yore, Are End of the World, 2013 installation
at the Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts.
The circumstances of Brooklyn v. NYC are revisited once again in Australia. The police confiscated a pornographic collage from the Linden Centre for Contemporary Art in Melbourne this week. The collage, titled Everything’s F….ed, depicts a child with Justin Bieber’s head urinating from a dildo.
The museum warned visitors that the image was not appropriate for children and distributed leaflets in several locations in the exhibit.
Andrew Bond, a Port Phillip councillor, called the exhibition “complete smut.” After the confiscation, Bond told Leader magazine: “Mission accomplished — the kiddy art exhibit is now closed. Next step is getting the Linden Gallery to be self-funding instead of behaving like a parasite on [local] taxpayers.”
Although the Linden Centre receives sponsorship from the Austrian government, the Centre asserted in a press release that no government funds were used for this exhibit.
Paul Yore, artist of Everything’s F….ed, called the police action “censorship gone mad.” Yore could face criminal charge for pedophilia and 10 years in jail.
Sue Foley, Chairperson of the Linden Board of Management, is offering support to Yore, stating in the Centre’s press release:
“Yesterday, we were notified by the Australian Classification Board that elements of the work by Paul Yore are considered Classification 1- Restricted. This means that the work is considered to contain adult content and should be restricted to people 18 years and over. We are working through what this means in practical terms and will continue to consult with all the artists [in the exhibition] and our stakeholders when making decisions about how best to proceed. It is important to note that we understand no charges have been laid against Paul [Yore] and we hope this will remain the case.”
The executive director of the National Association for the Visual Arts Tamara Winikoff summarized the situation:
“This is just another case of people being overprotective of the public sensibilities and not acknowledging that people are perfectly capable or making up their own minds. Any case of censorship where the work is not actually illegal is unjustified, and in this case I think the police would be very hard pressed to prove the work is illegal. What we probably have is a few people who had found the work confronting and they want to impose their views on the whole community.”
To read our coverage on the Brooklyn Museum v. NYC case visit: 14 Years After Brooklyn Museum v. NYC: Mayoral Candidate Joe Lhota Says He Now Understands the First Amendment
Sources: “Art Seizure Fires Censorship Row,” The Australian; “A Letter from the Chair, Everything’s F….ed: Now What,” Linden Centre for Contemporary Arts.