International condemnation of censorship at the Aichi Triennale continues, with the publication of an open letter from the Museum Watch Committee of CIMAM (International Committee for Museums and Collections of Modern Art). (See our previous coverage of the events at the Aichi Triennale here and here.) The letter gives useful historical background to this year’s Aichi Triennale and expresses “deep concern” over the decision to close a section of the exhibition devoted to showing works that have been overlooked or censored for their political significance. Check out an excerpt from the letter below, or read the full text here.
The cancellation is an infringement of the artists’ freedom of expression, at the behest of politicians and the Mayer of Nagoya City, Takashi Kawamura, who made a direct request for the exhibition to be closed. On display in the exhibition was a collection of artworks that were excluded from museums in Japan or were included in exhibitions that were closed due to censorship or self-censorship. The closing of the exhibition itself is a serious violation of freedom of expression.
CIMAM requests that the demands of the great majority of artists participating in the triennial, as expressed in their statement on August 6th, are met. The artists requested three things: the immediate restoration of the Aichi Triennale 2019’s autonomy from political pressure and intimidation; the continuation of the exhibition under the assurance of safety for all its staff and visitors; and the establishment of a platform for free and vigorous discussion open to all, including the participating artists.
Image: Kim Seo-kyung and Kim Eun-sung, Statue of a Girl of Peace, 2011. Via CIMAM.