Monday, March 12, 2007

Borris Miles Censors Artwork in Austin Capitol

I guess it can happen to anyone. Today Texas State Representative Borris Miles (D-Houston) became an art censor. I didn’t quite believe my eyes when I read it, but there is apparently enough detail and quotes in Selby’s article on the Austin American Statesman’s website to make it credible.

I don’t know, I respect Rep Miles’ progressivism, and from what I saw today on the Live House Chamber Stream, all sorts of small children were crawling on banisters and banging Craddick’s gavel. But who gave Borris Miles the sole authority to take down three pieces of art? Three pieces of art that were a subset of the collection of art on display in Houston depicting the horrors of capitol punishment?

I don’t care what your sensitivities are. Art in many of its forms, is meant to evoke a reaction. That Rep Miles’ reaction was to deny others the option to view the pieces infringes on the rights and freedoms of others. He shouldn’t have done that.

If the pieces offended Rep Miles’s sensibilities, then he should have realized that this is exactly what they were supposed to do.

You can’t vote on what artworks people can see in a free democracy, I don’t care what the justification is.

And in deciding what art people shall view and what they shall not view, you most certainly cannot wield absolute veto power.


Perry Dorrell, aka PDiddie said...

Completely agree, Hal.

I'll be contacting my representative -- a certain Mr. Miles -- today and reminding him that the real offense is the active practice of censoring art.

Susan said...

I saw some of the art in question and it was provocative - exactly what art is supposed to be. If art doesn't stir an emotion, it's not art - it's a picture.

Maybe we could get some paint-by-numbers pictures of pretty flowers for Mr. Miles.

By the way, the art in question made me a much better liberal. Good on it!