Chastity Belt

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Date: 2001

Region: North America

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Sculpture


Chastity Belt.jpg


Artist: Joy Crane

Confronting Bodies: Sue Knutzen, the president of Brookings Arts Council

Dates of Action: July 2001

Location: Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Description of Artwork: The sculpture depicted a loom-beaded chastity belt hanging from old, rusty iron hooks on a dungeon or torture chamber wall, inferring that people are still in the "Dark Ages" when it comes to women's rights in USA and all over the world. The words on the chastity belt were: "Bush vs Roe Wade", "Right to Life", "Abuse", "Implants", "Unequal Pay", "Dowry", "Marriage", "Chauvinism", "Double Standards", "Religious Right", "Rape" and "Genital Mutilation." There's a rusty padlock on the back of the belt which holds it to the wall. Above and slightly to the side of the padlock was a key covered in 22 kt. gold beads hanging from a broken chain link. One word hung beside the key itself - it was "Justice" - as only justice can free people from oppression.

The Incident: The Brookings Arts Council excluded a work from its 25th Annual Juried Art Exhibit, even though the show was open to all artists from the community and the artist had followed the submission procedure. The reason of exclusion was explained by the "family-friendly policy" of the venue.

Results of Incident: National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) urged Sue Knutzen and the Brookings Arts Council to reconsider their decision and to return the art-work to the show. That has been made still during the course of the exhibition.

Source: NCAC, www.argusleader.com