Censorship in art is not a symbol of a democratic state because artists should be allowed to deliver their works on the subject they deem reasonable. There can be only several exceptions on the subjects which might be excessively provocative. If artworks are created with the themes of, for example, sexual assault and pedophilia, for commercial purpose, it might cause public protests. Otherwise, all art should be free from censorship and any attempts of control from the governmental agencies or religious institutions. Art is the product of the artist’s expression and imagination (“Freedom of Expression in the Arts and Entertainment”), and thus, it should be treated similarly to the freedom of speech.
Controversial or not, art is a form of free expression of the artists’, so any attempt to refuse them to utilize their constitutional right to free speech would provoke debate and resonance in the community. For example, the removal of student’s painting from the exhibition that took place on the Capitol Hill because the congressmen did not like the subject of the painting (“Art and Culture Censorship Timeline”). The artwork was several times forbidden to be exhibited due to depicting the subject of current political controversies.
The artists should be granted the freedom to express their vision of the events. Nevertheless, it does not mean the absolute freedom because any action or idea requires some common sense, respect, and morality. Therefore, the artist should be careful when they touch upon the religious, sexual, and criminal subjects to avoid public condemnation and accusation of intolerance and disrespect to the feelings of, for example, religion enthusiasts. Besides, some of the subjects can be illicit such as child pornography. All actions taken by the artists for their art should also be limited by the Constitution and laws, meaning that they are not legally allowed to sexually assault anyone or take drugs in public places only because it will be good for their art. Overall, freedom to express oneself should be ensured for the artists, though it should not be absolute. Common sense, morality, and tolerance should be considered when choosing the subject for creating the artwork.
- “Art and Culture Censorship Timeline.” National Coalition Against Censorship, https://ncac.org/resource/art-and-culture-censorship-timeline. Accessed 28 Oct. 2018.
- “Freedom of Expression in the Arts and Entertainment.” American Civil Liberties Union, https://www.aclu.org/other/freedom-expression-arts-and-entertainment. Accessed 28 Oct. 2018.