Evan Johnson photographs

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Date: 2002

Region: North America

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Photography


Artist: Evan Johnson

Confronting Bodies: The Cultural Arts Council of Mendocino County

Dates of Action: October 2002

Location: Willits Center For the Arts, Mendocino County, CA, USA

Description of Artwork: Digitally manipulated photo images, which included Dick Cheney, Vice-President of USA, the first President Bush and swastika

The Incident: The Cultural Arts Council of Mendocino County invited, by way of newspaper ad, all local artists to display their works at the Willits Center For the Arts with no indication of the criteria of selection. Evan Johnson, a professional photographer, submitted his photographs. However, he was told by one of the officers of the Arts Council that his work could not be displayed because of its content, which would upset the County Manager. The city agreed to meet with the artist to talk about this. In the meantime, the exhibition opened without the photographs of Evan Johnson.

Results of Incident: National Coalition Against Censorship and the First Amendment Project in Oakland, CA sent a letter to The Cultural Arts Council of Mendocino County explaining the implications of the First Amendment to them. Following this the photographs were returned to the exhibition.

Source: The First Amendment Project, NCAC