Censorpedia: An Interactive Database of Censorship Incidents

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Featured Case: Democracy in America (exhibition)

Let's Play Armageddon, by Mear One
Angry Americans, by Ryan McNamara
Richie Bush, by Peter Kuper

Artist: Ryan McNamara, Mear One, Jim Budde, Robbie Conal, Shepard Fairey, Peter Kuper, David Attyah, S.A. Bachman

Year: 2004

Date of Action: February 2020

Region: North America

Location: Phoenix, Arizona

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Public Art, Public Art

Confronting Bodies: Arizona State University Art Museum

Description of Artwork: All of the artwork included here was deemed to be too Anti-Bush: Jim Budde's ceramic piece "Con Tex or Roll Out the Barrel"; Peter Kuper's "Richie Bush" a cartoon which features George W. Bush standing atop a pile of money dripping with oil; "Bitter Pill," a cooperative piece by David Attyah and S.A. Bachman (an ASU alum), also known as "Think Again"; a photographic installation by Ryan McNamara called "Angry Americans", which features eight photos of children making angry faces placed side-by-side; Jim Conal's "Read My Apocalips," which features a heavily lined picture of President Bush; and Mear One's "Let's Play Armageddon," which features Bush giving a thumbs up in front of a mushroom cloud while holding a paper airplane with the words "Bill of Rights" written on it.

The Incident: ASU had planned to put "Democracy in Action" up as an exhibit to match the timing of a 2004 presidential debate in Phoenix. After curators saw that most of the political art available for display appeared to be anti-Bush in nature (there was only one anti-Kerry artwork), all of the pieces described above were cut from the display, and artistic work that was deemed pro-Bush but "mediocre" was included. [1]

Results of Incident: In spite of pressure from the NCAC, the local media and the artists involved, the pieces remained withdrawn from the display.

Source: http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/2004-08-19/news/bush-league/

See also: http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/2004-07-01/news/heil-to-the-chief/4/

What is Censorpedia?

Censorpedia is a crowdsourced online database of censorship cases within the arts and in culture. It is aimed at those researching censorship, at activists working for freedom of expression and at artists and other cultural producers whose expression has been subject to censorship or attempted censorship.

Censorpedia documents censorship incidents by providing the who, what, when, where and why. By providing a repository of information about what is vulnerable to censorship and about the strategies and tactics that have defeated previous’ censorship attempts, Censorpedia aids the fight for free expression.

Researchers can search for a specific case, year or keyword using the search box, as well as browse by medium, by grounds for censorship, or explore a random case.

Activists can search for ongoing cases or contribute a case that is ongoing or recently resolved.

Artists and cultural producers are similarly invited to add cases they are directly involved with or are familiar with first hand.

Censorpedia builds on the landmark 1994 art project The File Room, initiated by Muntadas.

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