To the editors:
Is censorship fashionable? It certainly seems as though it's becoming quite the trend in Chicago. Not only that, it seems the Reader feels that what people are wearing is more important than an issue as serious as censorship.
I am writing about your article in Our Town titled "Beyond Boundaries" by Lynda Gorov, Dec. 23. Not once in her article did she mention the word censorship, repression or suppression, nor did she mention the First Amendment. Too bad it took her the entire article to allude to the homophobia of the irate yuppies who could not deal with an image of two men hugging.
The Reader missed the opportunity to address the complexities of this issue. The people living in the building do have a right to privacy, but it's a little late to exercise that right after they have given the curators sole control of the content of the show. One tenant apparently called the Ziolkowski work pornography. The legal tests for pornography are that the work must portray sex in a patently offensive manner and have no serious artistic value. Ziolkowski's work would pass both of the tests.
Instead of making a fashion show out of serious issues, newspapers should be the first to speak out for free speech. You are the first to go out of business if these rights are lost. When artists are forced to pander to public taste, the only thing left on the walls will be red barn paintings and fig leaves. Then, the only material Gorov will have to write about will be polyester.
Committee for Artists' Rights