Name: David Zwirner talking about censored Marlène Dumas's paintings at Abu Dhabi art fair

Date:  2006-present

Location:  Middle East and Caucasus



Artist: Marlène Dumas

Confronting Bodies: cultural clash between context and content

Date of Action: 23 February 2011

Specific Location: Abu Dhabi art fair 2011

Description of Artwork: Stressing both the physical reality of the human body and its psychological value, Dumas tends to paint her subjects at the extreme fringes of lifes cycle, from birth to death, with a continual emphasis on classical modes of representation in Western art, such as the nude or the funerary portrait. By working within and also transgressing these traditional historical antecedents, Dumas uses the human figure as a means to critique contemporary ideas of racial, sexual, and social identity.

Description of Incident: At Abu Dhabi art fair, one day of the event was reserved for women, despite the nudity featuring in some of the works. This concession has not reassured public opinion. It has been seen as the symptom of the moral censure inherent to the countrys culture and a precursor of censorship.

Results of Incident: the eminent broker David Zwirner was not allowed to display the work of Marlene Dumas, as the content was deemed too provocative.


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