Free Speech and Property Rights: Censorship in the Arts


Art, General Culture

“Artists and institutions are increasingly using law as a weapon to protect free speech. But they are beginning to realize that this action is actually contributing to the demise of art. As in the B├╝chel case, these suits are affirming more and more that art has to be considered property in matters of free speech, and this moves the idea of art away from philosophical or moral principles. (In both cases, the rulings were based on property rights). This brings the realization that the law cannot resolve this alone. So instead, artists should call for the art institution (museum, gallery, periodical) to rethink its relationship to the arts and to artists, and they should do this for philosophical/ethical reasons and not for what is permitted by law. They should pledge a commitment to the idea of art, and consider when censoring speech the damage this would do.” - Charles Gaines