August 06, 2006

Much Ado In Loveland: Censorship In Action

Judi Schwandt of Loveland takes a break from her bike ride Wednesday to study a sculpture of two nude women and one nude man. “Triangle” is near a busy Loveland roundabout, and critics say it's distracting and inappropriate. Its sculptor says “Triangle” symbolizes people's interdependence. (Post / Helen H. Richardson)

It appears that the anti-nudity zealots have succeeded in coercing the City Council of Loveland to examine whether or not it should be the ultimate arbiter of "appropriate" and "decent" art for the city:
Several critics are pushing to have "Triangle" moved from its location at a busy roundabout on the eastern edge of Loveland to a park where people can choose whether to look at it. Others want the 7-foot-tall depiction of a nude man and two nude women completely removed from public view.

"I don't think it should ever have been produced and I don't think it belongs here in Loveland," said Melissa Morgan, a mother of five.

Morgan and others opposing the sculpture won a victory of sorts this week. The Loveland City Council on Tuesday agreed to study changing an ordinance to allow the council to overrule the Visual Arts Commission, which oversees the city's public art program.
The "Triangle" does not meet Morgan's personal standard of decency, and so the City Council must now consider censoring not only the sculpture in question, but whether or not to assume full responsibility over the city's art program, in effect stifling the commission's role entirely.
"People may be thinking that this is a community full of prudes," said Kimberly Kreutzer, the wife of a local artist.
They already have.

But once again there is a strange hypersexualization of the sculpture by its opponents, revealing more about them, perhaps, than about the sculpture itself:
In any other context, the statue would be considered obscene under city ordinances, said Dan Danowski, who wants it moved to another location.

"If you look at it, it's pretty clear the intent of the statue is sexual," he said.
Nude? Yes. Sexual? Debatable, but certainly on a scale of 1 to 10, this would have to be on the rather innocuous side. Of course, there were people who nearly exploded at the sight of Janet Jackson's nipple. Out of curiosity, what other context could this sculpture be place in within the city limits of Loveland that would automatically make it obscene? This community has standards of decency, remember?
City Councilman Glenn Rousey agrees with the assessment of another artist who spoke to the council Tuesday. "He said he knows what a sex act is, and this is not a sex act," Rousey said.

He worries the city may be setting a dangerous precedent by allowing specific groups to dictate what art is appropriate for public display.
Once again, sexual? Maybe. Sex act? No. Unless you have absolutely no idea how sex actually occurs.

Much Ado In Loveland: The Recall
Much Ado II: More "Offensive" Nudes In Loveland
Much Ado In Loveland: Proposed Sculpture Arouses Community Ire



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