It was the last straw!
Vittorio Sgarbi is over!
The art and cultural scene in Milan in July 2007 was the subject, along with the LGBT world, of a sad news story …and this city should be ashamed of itself!
The exhibition “Vade retro – Arte e omosessualità”, organized by Artematica and promoted by the Councillorship of Culture of the City of Milan was never opened to the public because of the long wake of controversies, changes of mind and censorship after the event opened on 10 July 2007.
The source of the hullabaloo was the Mayor of Milan, Letizia Moratti, or “Suor Letizia” [Sister Letizia], as she was called by the Council Spokesman on Culture of Milan, and strong supporter of the exhibition, Vittorio Sgarbi.
The day after the opening Moratti asked to be allowed to personally view all of the works in the catalog and, after her initial decision to remove two works and prohibit visitors under 18 from accessing the exhibition, she dealt an even harder blow by ordering the removal of another ten works “to get rid of all references to religion and pedophilia”.
The Mayor’s censorship compelled the organizers to cancel the opening of the exhibition, which will be held in another city on a date to be decided.
Here are the photographs of the first three works excluded from the exhibition: the first is “Miss Kitty”, by Paolo Schmidlin, depicting old half naked man wearing a wig and thigh-high hose, said to resemble Pope Benedict XVI.
Another is a manipulation of the photograph that depicts Sircana sitting in his car near a transsexual. The latter is portrayed as Jesus Christ.
The third incriminated work is “Ermafrodita [Hermaphrodite]” by Paul Schmidt: a nude man with his female genitals in view.
Here you’ll find the 150 artists supposed to exhibit: Alberto Abate, EVA&ADELE, Nobuyoshi Araki, Arbour, Agostino Arrivabene, Assume Vivid Astrofocus, Franko B, Matteo Basilè, Betty Bee, James Bedgood, Jacopo Benassi, Louise Bourgeois, Carlo Bertocci, Antje Blumenstein, Louise Bourgeois, Daniele Buetti, Jeff Burton, Davide Cantoni, Maurizio Cannavacciuolo, Felipe Cardeña, Jota Castro, Maurizio Cattelan, Eleonora Ciroli, Larry Clark, Lovett&Codognone, Mataro Da Vergato, Edwin David, Filippo de Pisis, Mark Dermond, Sebastiano Deva, Gulio Durini, Tracey Emin, Rainer Fetting, Leonor Finì, Tom of Finland, Fischerspooner, Samuel Fosso, Jim French, Lino Frongia, Anna Fusco, Pierre et Gilles, Gilbert&George, Luis Gispert, Nicola Gobbetto, Anthony Goicolea, Nan Goldin, Steven Gontarski, Ettore Greco, David Hilliard, David Hockney, Harry Holland, Nir Hod, Francesco Impellizzeri, Anna Keen, John Kirby, Micha Klein, Steven Klein, Terence Koh\Asian Punk Boy, Yayoi Kusama, Bruce La Bruce, David LaChapelle, Annika Larsson, Alex Lee, Marc Leckey, Christian Leperino, Mariangela Levita, Philip Lorca Di Corcia, Bruce of Los Angeles, Urs Luthi, Ivan Malerba, Robert Mapplethorpe, Ryan McGinley, Klaus Mekrens, Man Lu Ming, Paco&Manolo, Pierre Molinier, Claudio Nonnini, Yasumasa Morimura, Barbara Nahmad, Helmut Newton, Tom of Finland, Erwin Olaf, Luigi Ontani, Gonzalo Orquin, Paul P., Camilla Paternò, Philip Pearlstein, Dino Pedriali, Walter Picardi, Jack Pierson, Guglielmo Pluschow, Carol Rama, Terry Richardson, Terry Rogers, Ugo Rondinone, Rosy Rox, Thomas Ruff, Dean Sameshima, Matteo Sanna, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Livio Scarpella, Paolo Schmidlin, Collier Schorr, Andres Serrano, Marcello Severi, Marcello Simeone, Moio&Sivelli, Alix Smith, Paolo Schmidlin, Paul Smith, Orfeo Tamburi, Mario Testino, Giovanni Testori, Lorenzo Tornabuoni, Andy Warhol, Sam Taylor.Wood, Iké Udé, Francesco Vezzoli, Claudio Vitale, Coniglio Viola, Wilhelm Von Gloeden, Bruce Weber, Joel Peter Witkin, Young Elizabeth.
A spontaneous question comes to mind: did this case of censorship actually arise from the wish to exclude works considered to be “in bad taste” or the fact that the exhibition organizers openly declared that the exhibition deals with the theme of homosexuality? In other words, would the incriminated works have been excluded by any other exhibition of contemporary art? Probably not.
Finally, the fact that such a controversy occurred precisely in Milan, a city that is in the forefront of the nation for its open-mindedness and nondiscrimination against the LGBT population, is a further cause for concern…