The Censorship of Art on Social Media

Image credit: Joanne Leah

Image credit: Joanne Leah

The Fashion Institute of Technology's Art Market Studies Program hosted a panel discussion moderated by Brian Boucher and featuring Kadar Brock, Joanne Leah, Kathleen Madden, Evrim Oralkan, and Jessica Oralkan.

What comes to mind when we consider social media censorship in the art world? It’s quite possible that you were recently notified by a social media platform that one of your posts was removed. Or that you know someone who has been censored. The topic raises a number of complex and urgent question: Should artworks be flagged as pornography? How can social media platforms differentiate what is actually art from what is not? Should works of art be age restricted? Who should be making these decisions? This Tuesday, our panel of artists, curators, and collectors will share their perspectives.

Brian Boucher is an accomplished arts writer with twenty years of experience as a critic, journalist, editor, lecturer, and educator. He currently serves as a Senior Writer for artnet News, having previously worked as an editor at Art in America. Boucher received a masters degree in the history of art from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and completed his undergraduate degree at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York, also in art history.

Jessica and Evrim Oralkan are art collectors who, having identified a need for a digital platform for collectors to connect on a new level, founded Collecteurs. Collecteurs is based out of NEW INC, the New Museum's cultural incubator, dedicated to supporting innovation, collaboration and entrepreneurship at the intersection of art and technology. They are members of the Swiss Institute, Institute of Contemporary Art London, part of the YCC Acquisitions Committee at Guggenheim Museum and YCC Acquisitions Committee at Pérez Art Museum Miami.

Kadar Brock has lived and worked in Brooklyn, NY since graduating from The Cooper Union in 2002. In 2005 he began exhibiting bright, gestural abstractions, with solo exhibitions at BUIA Gallery, NY (2006, 2008) and Angell Gallery, Toronto (2007). By 2009 though, he lost faith in that approach to painting and began questioning the assumptions about authorship and gesture that undergird it. To step away from and challenge his previous paintings, Brock began creating works via systems of role playing and ritual. He first exhibited this new vein of work with Thierry Goldberg in New York in late 2010, and has since had solo exhibitions with The Hole,
NY (2013), Vigo Gallery, London (2012, 2015, 2016), Almine Rech, Brussels (2015), and Patron Gallery, Chicago (2017).

Joanne Leah is an artist who stages brightly colored photo-based images and animations that portray entangled body parts juxtaposed with ordinary objects and substances. Her works explore themes of sexuality, isolation, and identity. Her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions in New York, including a 2017 solo exhibition, ACID MASS, at Not For Them Gallery in Long Island City.

Kathleen Madden is an art historian who contributes regularly to magazines such as Artforum, Art in America, and OSMOS. She has been part of the curatorial team for exhibitions at Tate Modern, the Barbican Art Gallery, and the Serpentine Gallery. Previously, she was the Commissioning Editor of Contemporary Art at Phaidon Press, where she produced books such as Vitamin Ph: New Perspectives in Photography and Ice Cream: Contemporary Art and Culture. Additionally, she has contributed texts to art books such as Thames and Hudson’s Photography the Whole Story, and is an editor of the Performa 13 book, the fifth volume in the acclaimed Performa series (Gregory R. Miller & Co., 2015).

More on in conversation