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Matthew Whitfield

When I first saw Yoko's work on display (we're on first name terms, we've hugged), I was a little shocked, and my own reaction surprised me. After careful consideration I've realised that I wasn't shocked by the images at all but felt a slightly-out-of-character feeling of sympathy for the old, prudish and very young who, I feel, shouldn't have to be exposed to a piece of pretty unintellectual art ripped from its proper context in a gallery into what I have to conclude is an inappropriate setting in the most public place imaginable. This art has some degree of real value, and deserves to be debated, but the whole thing reaks of a pretty brainless stunt to get the Biennial noticed. In the meantime, I think the organisers have demonstrated a complete lack of respect for some vulnerable sections of society. Provocation is okay, but agressive tactics like this aren't.

RP

I find the outrage incomprehensible considering the following;

i) the obviously naked penis on the front of Lewis'
ii) the very recent addition at the bottom of Bold Street of a horse with a hugely erect penis in plain view
iii) the various breasts in full view in the rest of Liverpool ( I am thinking here of the fountain in front of the Walker Art Gallery, the coy flashing by victory or mercy behind the town hall etc)
iv) the world is a gallery
v) the multitude of breasts available for viewing in the flesh on an average evening - increased exponentially since the restarting of term

I have to say I support this particular project - anything to get the citizens talking about something other than football for once!!

ps I cannot see that there is anything particularly aggressive about a naked breast. or a fuzzy picture of a pubic region.


Alan

What does "the world is a gallery" mean?

AJE

Without wishing to speak for RP, perhaps it means:
"you don't need to put Tesco in the Tate for us to see the point"

JRWB

I wasn’t going to join in any of this discussion, as I don’t really have any strong feelings as such towards the piece itself. However in the days that have followed the banners appearing in the city I have grown saddened, actually offended, by the nature of the discussion that has grown up around the whole affair. I am sorry Steve, but I think actually miss the point when you say that these people’s reactions are those of a ‘deep sense of envy’. I don’t think we have a right to judge what belies their offence; the fact is these banners do offend some people. I don’t wish to enter to much into the debate of whether this art is not as Matthew suggests “in its proper context in a gallery”, nor into the rather surreal question raised by Alan over the meaning of the phrase “the world is a gallery”, I have opinions on both these things but what has really offended me is the way that the two camps, both the pro-banner and anti-banner bodies have addressed one another. “I can’t see why anyone should be offended…” has been a phrase that I have heard a lot lately and I am afraid it disgusts me. What right do any of us have to suggest what should and should not offend another human? What offends one person may seem ridiculous and trite to us, but to another it may form a central principle in their religion or set of beliefs. People have a right to feel that offence, and deserve not to be mocked, or derided, or even judged as being prudish, for holding a set of moral standards which mean that a woman’s breast and pubic region are something which should not be shown in the public realm. Certainly RP, there are other examples of breasts, penises, and vulvas in the city, and who is to say that these in turn do not offend people in turn (actually I suspect a lot of people are offended by the Epstein sculpture), but the nature of most of these pieces is that they can be avoided if necessary, and they do not focus exclusively upon the areas which may cause offence. I feel sorry for someone who is offended by this work, as it must be quite difficult for them to escape that offence for the next two months.

Towards the end of Philip Roth’s novel ‘American Pastoral’ a group of people discuss the recently released film ‘Deep Throat’. The reactions range from the elderly Jewish father’s lack of comprehension: “Why do you let it into your lives?” to the liberal academic’s view that it is “human nature”. What levels between these arguments is a sense that whilst certainly it is human nature, the real destructive force is the fact that this argument is wielded with the annihilation of anything else: “Today, to be what they call ‘repressed’ is a source of shame to people--as not to be repressed used to be.” Simply because these banners depict natural images does not therefore mean that we should expect everyone to value their depiction in the same way; it is easy to put down the opinions of those who are not comfortable with them as being ‘repressed’, ‘prudish’ or ‘envious’, but what is really natural in all of this is that some of these people *are* offended, and what on earth is less reprehensible than that?

AJE

might I add:
if it's ok because it's natural, the come round to mine for a spunk sandwich...!

Jules

Liverpool needs to lighten up, omg.

Carmen

Hahaha! A spunk sandwich! Now that is truly disgusting!!!! Much more so than a woman's breast. I just hope it wasn't Yoko's since that wouldn't be attractive!

Yoko Ono has always been a wierdo.... I'm sure all that crap will come down soon and she'll have accomplished her mission - to shock people, thereby maintaining her celebrity status even though she lacks talent.

Mandi

When I first got into Liverpool to see the Biennial, I saw these images of breasts dotted around the place initially I thought 'What the f..k?'. Then I realised that it was part of the Exhibition and that it belonged to Yoko Ono;"should've guessed" I thought to myself.

Im not the biggest fan of Yoko Ono's work (particualy the imagine peace piece she did at the tate) I was surprised to see how many people reacted to this in such a negative way (bit harsh but true). Its something natural - half the population have got them.
when janet jacksons boob fell out on stage - everyone went mad... why? you didnt see the nipple

I think people should just take it with a pinch of salt - calm down its just a tit (and the other bit)!!!
The preacher man thats always in liverpool was asking how is it art? Anything that you find beauty in can be percived as art - its a very personal thing to establish.
Art has no boundaries - i do think in some cases; it should (i.e grayson perry and his 'pots').

everyone has the right to an opinion; i just wish people would take the time to look at a piece of art before casting such a negative opinion.


Bella and Bec

Previewing your Comment
WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU GUYS TALKING ABOUT? IN FACT, MONKEY-FACES, CAN YOU TELL US WHY WE'RE HERE AT ALL? WE ARE ONLY TEN YEARS OLD YET WE'RE LOOKING UP ON REALLY GROSS AND SEXY STUFF. HEY, WHY IS TWO TEN YEAR OLD GIRLS DOING LOOKING UP ON 'MY MUMMY WAS BEAUTIFUL?' WE WERE IN GOOGLE TRYING TO FIND 'MY MUMMY WAS UGLY' WHEN WE CAME HERE. AND THIS WEBSITE LOOKED QUITE INTERSTING SO WE CAME IN. NOW WE ARE GOING NUTS AND TRYING TO GET INTO TROUBLE! MUM'S (MRS. LURMY) GONNA KILL US IF SHE FOUND OUT WHAT HER PERICOSE BELLA ND HER BEST FRIEND BEC HAVE BEEN DOING DURING THE WEEKEND. THEN BEC WON'T BE ABLE TO COME TO BELLA'S HOUSE ANYMORE. TWO TEN YEAR OLD GIRLS, PLAYING ON THE INTERNET LOOKING UP GROSS AND SEXY STUFF- SOUNDS COOL EH? AND WHAT THE HECK IS 'THE FILTER'? HEY, WE JUST REALISED SOMETHING, WE'RE FLITERING ON THE FLITTER! SO MUCH FOR YOUR 'PERCIOSE' WEBSITE! HECK, WE CAN'T SPELL PERCIOSE EVEN THOUGH WE'RE IN YEAR 5! ALL WELL, WE'RE ALWAYS BEEN A TERRIBLE SPELLER, RIGHT? UH OH, MUM'S LOOKING, HIDE!

Siobhan Gavaghan

What is art has become something of a grey area - although when John and Yoko posed naked in the album Two Virgins was at the time a shocker, their reasons for doing this were to promote peace and stop the war in Vietnam, so I think that what they did deserves respect. It is always difficult to determine if this is just exploitation of the female body and shock tactics dressed up as art. After all we already know that women have beautiful bodies. I notice she did not use an image of the penis. I am not sure what this was meant to achieve.

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