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TRIGGER WARNING!

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DO NOT PROCEED IF YOU'RE EASILY OFFENDED

THE ARTWORKS CONTAINED ON THIS PAGE ARE HIGHLY CHALLENGING

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Smash the Narrative is a project is used art to promote public discussion around major political and social issues. Every two years they award a prize for art relating to a specific topic and hold an exhibition in Amsterdam and this years theme was titled “You can’t paint that!“.

 

"The topic is taboo and censorship. This is an important issue at the moment with governments, educational institutions and big tech companies taking it upon themselves to decide which ideas can and can’t be discussed. We would like to encourage artists to think about what it feels like to be told they should avoid expressing certain ideas or alternatively the necessity of limiting creative and intellectual expression to avoid causing offence."

Hi Stanley,

 

By the way, while you didn't win the audience vote, you do deserve a special mention for the large number of people who simply used the voting form to write an angry message about you in all capital letters. I counted those as votes in your favour, but unfortunately you still didn't quite win. To give a couple of examples, one wrote "You're white. You don't do black face. Period.", which I took to be praise for how well your piece connected to the theme. Another simply wrote "STANLEY BLACK IS A RACIST BASTARD" which was basically the title of the piece anyway. In all seriousness, I do believe that the purpose of art is to create emotion in the viewer, and you were certainly most successful in that regard. Some of the other organisers did actually suggest awarding you the audience prize on this basis, although in the end I thought it was fairer to give it to Jonathan.

 

Kind regards,

 

James Huggett

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