Freedom of speech?

There are many ways our freedom of speech could be curtailed without outright censorship. The recent week or so has thrown up a few examples which could be considered as such.

1. MDA proposes amendments to the Public Entertainments and Meetings Act, including arts groups self-classifying their works and more power to MDA. See our previous post.

2. Lee Wen was assaulted in Hong Kong after he criticised the detainment of Chen Guang after he staged a performance art work commemorating the Tiananmen Massacre. [News article]

3. PM Lee Hsien Loong sued blogger Roy Ngerng (The Heart Truths) for defamation over his article which points out similarities between the City Harvest case and the CPF. Read his blog post about it here.

Unfortunately, these are neither new nor shocking. Benjamin Franklin said this 300 years ago: “Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.” Will we heed his warning and do something about this before we have no freedom left?

 

 

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No Country

The Guggenheim exhibition, curated by June Yap, is going to be showing in CCA from 10 May to 20 July. The exhibition “proposes a reevaluation of the region and its countries based on its cultural relationships, influences, affinities, and negotiations“. Exciting!

Check out the calendar of events here.

The exhibition’s title is apparently drawn from the opening line of the W. B. Yeats poem “Sailing to Byzantium” (1928) that is referenced in the title of Cormac McCarthy’s novel No Country for Old Men (2005).

Here’s the poem:

Sailing To Byzantium

That is no country for old men. The young
In one another’s arms, birds in the trees
 Those dying generations  at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unaging intellect.

An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress,
Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence;
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.

O sages standing in God’s holy fire
As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
And be the singing-masters of my soul.
Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.

Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.

 

 

Veg butcher shop?

According to this article, 75% of the population in The Netherlands no longer eats meat daily, and The Vegetarian Butcher is having a field day meeting the demand for veg food. This is great news for everyone as livestock is a major threat to the environment [FAO]!

With Food #03, our restaurant in our Rowell Rd space, we were also promoting the benefits of a meat-less diet. Though we were not as fortunate as Veg Butcher, we are sure that meat demand in Singapore will continue to drop as more people realise what a positive difference it makes. We look forward to the day when veg food is in such demand here!

It’s not difficult to eat less meat or drop meat completely! There are lots of websites with good advice including Happycow.net and VSS. You can also do it once a week with VeggieThursday.

Falling trees make sound

It’s finally proven!

Falling trees make sounds even if no one is around to hear it. Unfortunately it’s unlikely we’ll experience this ourselves as human presence is almost always audible and often overwhelms the little sounds of nature. Our presence lead to noise pollution for the creatures there. How can we enjoy nature while keeping the negative impacts of our presence to a minimal?

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/09/falling-trees-makes-sounds-says-study.php

Blog-Post

Blog-Post is our latest space which is set in the virtual world. This will serve as the blog and e-archive of Post-Museum. We’ll regularly post content which we find interesting and relevant. This space seeks to continue the sharing and engagement of our real world activities related to the arts and culture, civil society, ecology, social issues etc. Do respond, feedback and check back with us often!

Enwezor on censorship

In his article Spring Rain, in Artforum Summer 2011, Okwui Enwezor writes about Ai Wei Wei, the Sharjah Biennale and the recent petitions against censorship.

http://www.artforum.com/inprint/id=28339 >

“Variously authored by museums, disenchanted curators, artists, critics, and others, these petitions shared the easy illusion of the universal ideal of freedom of expression—willfully ignoring the fact that censorship is an occupational hazard that all dissenting and radical forms of art must face, whether under liberal or illiberal political systems.”

and

“To my mind, the several petitions that have been circulated in the past months have failed in one striking respect—namely, their inability to engage the larger complexities of the geopolitics of art, much of which they seek to smooth away. If the capacity for critique and defense of the ideals of free thought is to remain the bedrock of all serious art, then we must submit statements proffered on behalf of art themselves to scrutiny.”

Madra on censorship

In her blog Pluversum, Beral Madra posts her press release about the removal of Aidan Salakhova’s sculptures from Azerbaijan’s pavilion which she curated in the 54th Venice Biennale.

http://www.pluversum.blogspot.com/ >

“Contemporary art production and its theoretical and critical context is being employed and exploited by the official power as well as by the private sector as a tool for high prestige and glory; but at the same time its content and concepts are not tolerated and acknowledged.”

and

“I think the artists and curators should have an international legal protection against these conflicts.”