Brighton Fringe Festival 2010 issues written statement in response to censorship claims by photographer

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This email has just come through from Brighton Photo Fringe organisation:
Brighton Photo Fringe statement

RE: Hans van den Boom

To Whom It May Concern:

Hans van den Boom agreed to remove three images from his display as part of Brighton Photo Fringe 2010 after conversation with the Directors and the Chair of the board. These images were questioned in regard to the contract signed by van den Boom which states ‘Content: Brighton Photo Fringe reserves the right to withdraw works from the exhibition which are explicit, inappropriate or in conflict with the ‘moral and ethical’ contractual agreement with Cooperative Estates.’

Van den Boom was asked to discuss the works and to justify them in regard to a conceptual grounding for the work or a response that could be given to visitors and our partners, should they have questions about the work. Van den Boom was unable to articulate a contextual statement regarding the nature of the works in question, so an edit of the work was made with his consultation. The artist agreed to this edit and left the building – we have not heard from him since and only received an email requesting a press comment on this matter late last night.

We are happy to discuss any work in the Brighton Photo Fringe and to enter into dialogue with any artist.

We are also happy to relook at the contract with Mr van den Boom and to reconsider other works for his place in this exhibition. Mr van den Boom is also welcome to remove his work from exhibition if he is not happy with the way that he has been treated.

We are happy to answer any other questions you or Mr van den Boom may have on this matter, or to discuss any of the other one hundred and thirty great shows made by artists as part of the Brighton Photo Fringe 2010.

Thank you for your interest in Brighton Photo Fringe.

Brighton Photo Fringe statement

2 responses to “Brighton Fringe Festival 2010 issues written statement in response to censorship claims by photographer

  1. It seems apparent that the term “explicit, inappropriate or in conflict with the ‘moral and ethical’ contractual agreement with Cooperative Estates” needs to be better defined. Explicit and inappropriate in what sense and by whose standards? As regard the “moral and ethical’ contractual agreement with Cooperative Estates”, such a contractual agreement would need to be made available to the artist in order for the “moral and ethical” implications could be determined. Was the agreement available to the artist?

    Ultimately, it comes back to what I said previously, i.e. these kind of problems are a measure of the quality of the show in question. I doubt very much you would find such issues in a show like Arles, and certainly the likes of Paris Photo or the The AIPAD Photography Show in NYC, would not dream of dictating such terms to their gallery exhibitors.

    This simply demonstrates a lack of understanding of the arts, but then looking at the nature and content of Brighton Photo Fring, it seems to have little to do with true photographic art, leaning more towards being a general exhibition of photography. There is still a very apparent lack of understanding of what truly defines photographic art versus general commercial photography. That said, perhaps this is the intended focus.

  2. I will reply to these lies and accusations tomorrow

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