Contained/Controlled

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Date: 1998

Region: North America

Subject: Explicit Sexuality, Nudity

Medium: Painting


Artist: Barbara Jo Revelle - artist, muralist and chairwoman of the art department at the University of Florida

Confronting Bodies: Officials/administrators at the Manatee Community College in Bradenton, Fla.

Dates of Action: January, 1998

Location: Bradenton, Flordia USA

Description of Artwork: Barbara Jo Revelle’s 26-foot mural includes political images of U.S. involvement in Iran and Nicaragua and digitally enhanced photographs of male and female genitalia – as an “unfolding argument against censorship”.

The Incident: Revelle’s mural was to be featured in Contained/Controlled, an art show about censorship at Manatee Community College in Bradenton, Fl. However, officials at the college were concerned with Revelle’s mural, especially the 4-foot portion of the mural featuring erect penises. The college asked Revelle to remove the part of the mural with the images of the erect genitalia for the piece before the work was to appear in the exhibit on campus.

Results of Incident: After asking for the 4-foot portion of Revelle’s mural to be removed, officials at Manatee community College canceled the censorship exhibit “Contained/Controlled” entirely. College president Sarah Pappas told the First Amendment Center the complete exhibit “was not what we expected”. Officials said they determined it best to cancel the whole show rather than refuse to display one part of it.

Source: The Freedom Forum online archive: www.freedomforum.org