List of Monumental sculpture projects 2015

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Sunday, 20 June 2010

Peter Greenaways letter to Linden Lab on Nudity


Dear Courtney Linden,

As a reaction to the rejection of Rose Borchovski ‘s art installation : The Kiss at the Celebration Sim, I would like you to read this.

It seems to me incredible that you are enforcing censorship concerning nudity in public forums on Second Life.

Traditions of nudity in Western Art have for centuries been legitimate, honourable and creditable.
The cyperspaces of Second Life - and Second Life has so far proved itself to be among the very best of such events -
are among todays' cutting edge of visual languages - continuing an enviable tradition of new technologies in the visual arts
now that the orthodox cinematic arts are proving themselves moribund and archaic, and enforcing new efforts to
avoid artistic elitism and the encouragement of egalitarianism in artistic expression Any artist worth his or her salt,
always must engage in contemporary technologies - it has been the very reputable tradition of the most worthwhile artists
that has benefitted us all. Visual artists have always taught us to look. The man-made world owes them everything.
Just because you have eyes does not mean you can see. And the political and social emancipation of the naked and the nude
by artists has been essential for humanist civilisation - it has given you and me great liberalities of thinking and self-respect.

Whatever else you think you may be doing with Second Life, you have created a very sophisticated tool that combines
traditions of painting with cinema and the graphic arts in present tense terms that permits visual expression
of language like never before. Do not underestimate what you have created - but to remain creditable you simply
cannot enforce reactionary hypocritical standards that have been so discredited over the last five hundred years.

Like any self-respecting artist of course I am against gratuitous exploitation that demeans and insults intelligence and
sensibilities but by your blanket censorship you are now doing both those things - insulting artistic intelligence and
demeaning sensibility.
I suspect you are responding to pressure, to some form of mind-police, certainly to some form of political correctness
that is related to money and the slow swing to the political right that is happening all over the world related to
civilisation's fear of financial insecurity. Don't go that way. You are endangering a tool that is greater than you.

When the cultural histories of the early 21st century are written from hindsight, you will undoubtedly find the possibilities and
successes of Second Life being eminently lauded and praised. Too many art forms in the 20th century have been stunted
and deformed and deflected into ineffectuality and banality by small mindedness. If you really insist in so-called protection
of innocence (and I really wonder what that really is - is it a synonym in fact for ignorance and intolerance?) then do so on a careful
case by case basis with intelligence and foresight. This will be troublesome for you to do, if you want to do it well. But it will
be very well worth your while,

Yours, hoping you will see sense, and not be influenced by short-term gain.

Peter Greenaway, film-maker.

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