Racism: Just Undo it (exhibition)

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Date: 1994

Region: North America

Subject: Nudity

Medium: Painting


Artist: Cindy Battisti and Eve Saturn

Confronting Bodies: Center at High Falls employees and director.

Dates of Action: 1994

Location: Rochester, New York

Description of Artwork: Eve Saturn's untitled painting featured two nude, pregnant women seated back to back, holding hands and surrounded by flowers with human faces. One of the women is black and the other white, each holding a child of the other's race. Cindy Battisti's untitled piece shows a nude man and woman dancing in a circle.

The Incident: The Center at High Falls is a visitor information center that often exhibits local artists' work. An organization called Baha'i sponsored the exhibit, Racism: Just Undo it. After the exhibit's installation, two employees contacted the Center Director, Lydia Boddie-Neal, and complained about the two paintings. Boddie-Neal removed the paintings because they showed frontal nudity and suggested that the "explicit and provocative nature of the message" might jeopardize fundraising efforts.

Results of Incident: The pieces were removed and the center enacted a policy giving itself final approval for all work on display.

Source: Artistic Freedom Under Attack, 1995