“What are your thoughts on modern day censorship? Are you offended by the images?” #comments please!

Re: Drawing on Pain Closes Early

“A couple days ago we had to take down Kat Thorsen’s exhibit at 689 Espana (pictured left), the by post street in-house artist’ due to complaints of the content (nudity, language etc) from the building.

This is the perfect opportunity for us to start the conversation: What are your thoughts on modern day censorship? Are you offended by the images? Do you hate them, like them or love them? Leave a comment or email info@bypoststreet.com with your reactions. We’d LOVE to hear from you!”

Anna Thorsen



See also: 

Fear No Art

20 years ago my art was protested

Post no bills: can free art change the world?

Comments to date:

I’m so sorry to see your post about the Espana Gallery. I couldn’t believe it. I actually had to look back through all the pieces to try and decipher what someone could have found offensive about it. Like, really, a tiny naked woman (and a recognizable icon at that!) can still rile people up?!
Honestly, someone should go door to door in that condo and take a poll to see who’s offended and who’s not. Cause I can guarantee you it’s one stuffy stump pulling out their strata card for influence. There should be a vote!
It’s often the case people who feel powerless take on positions of perceived power (like strata’s) to bully other people to accept their point of view…
Anyhow, fuck them! That’s all I’ll say. – M.R.
Wow – the things people find offensive! Strata councils are the worst, though. Too bad – it was a cool space & could have been a showcase for interesting art. – J. M.
What a shame! Absolutely fucking ridiculous. You’re offended by breasts and a vagina? Jesus. Not only is it censorship of beautiful art but it’s also indicative of the rampant idiocy that permeates Vancouver strata councils, members of which are often drunk on the tiny bit of power the council invests their miserable lives. ‘m a resident of Espana. I’m offended they’ve been taken down. If I weren’t just a tenant and I could actually go to the strata meetings and say something and have it be taken seriously, I would. – D.A.
Someone obviously has way too much time on their hands to cause such a hassle – DISGUSTED….this is ART FOLKS…The Strata needs a RETHINK….seriously…. T. L-P
I think Kat should see if a meeting with these people is possible. I want to know if they would be able to express how offended they are after hearing how this art came to be. – P.B.
I can’t believe they actually did that! How can you censor art? If we were to take down everything that offended someone, there would BE no art in the world! People need to get over themselves and open their eyes to the world. E.W.
I am constantly amazed by the lack of evolution of mankind. Long live ‘FEAR NO ART.’ – P.H.
I’m also confused … can’t possibly imagine what anyone would object to, or why they would want such radiant and moving pieces moved out of sight (unless it’s causing them to reflect on pains and issues not yet dealt with … )

… and let there be more of such beauty, too …. -E.V

Wow, really? That is really unfortunate. Your art is amazing and should be shared. My girls and I peered thru the widows the other day, such great work Kat. Vancouverites can be so bland sometimes…sheesh! – A. B.
??? baffled – S.P.
That is very sad news. -J.S.
This does not make sense. – L.K.
Was just reading the post re: censorship of your exhibit.   I can’t fucking believe it!   Seriously?   What could possibly offend anyone about the images?   Kat, your art is profound and the story of how your art is created is even more profound.   But there is obviously a place where you are pushing boundaries for people.   I do find life is most interesting at the bleeding edge of the wedge.    Curiosity gets me through craziness.   
But underneath my curiosity (or maybe riding above it) is just frustration at limited thinking.   
Censorship without dialogue?   I’m also curious – was there consensus?   Who was behind the complaint?   How many voices were heard?   – L.M.
Utterly ridiculous.  That’s the crazy thing about naked bodies- we all have one.  How is that offensive?  Someone needs to lighten up.  Sad that in a supposedly liberal and open minded city we still have people attempting to shame people for artistic expression.  – J.L.
Ugh.  Our building is so bland now… – S.H.
Library bomb


  • I too had to re look at the exhibition and imagine that I was someone with a closed mind to see what someone may have taken offense to. All I saw was one swear word hidden amongst marks and images, cartoon like breasts and a woman having a baby. What shone through on every piece was a strong sense of expression, emotions and incredible mark making, use of colours and layers and extraordinary illustration. How could someone be blinded by the beauty of the mark making / talent itself ? I too am very disappointed and have more to say but must refrain. I knew that the show would stir up discussion – and it did ! So well done. Can’t wait to see your future work. A.H.

  • This is disheartening. Art has such power to move us and invoke strong emotion. Censorship quells expression. When people are offended by art, I often wonder if it is because the work in question evokes feelings or memories within themselves that they are afraid of, are out of touch with or unwilling to examine.

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