Coinciding with Frieze London, Sensitive Content is an international group exhibition curated by the artist Helen Beard and art historians Alayo Akinkugbe and Maria Elena Buszek. The exhibition gives voice to those who have been systematically marginalised, showcasing works that have often been censored.
Censorship has been a longstanding source of contention throughout the history of art, being the most persistent form of violation to artistic freedom of expression. Museums, governments, and corporations have reserved the right to censor artworks for centuries on the grounds that these works are offensive to the public, that they upset the established status quo and systems of convention. Today, visual art is frequently in the firing line of social media’s sensitivity filters. The exhibition seeks to uncover ways in which these restrictions are encouraging our society to regress to a sanitised art culture, but also the courageous, creative methods by which artists are pushing back.
From the British government’s destruction of Penny Slinger’s books to Renee Cox’s showdown with New York’s then-mayor Rudolf Giuliani over religious imagery; Betty Tompkins’ massive paintings seized by French Customs for obscenity to Xiao Lu’s poetic allegories of censorship itself made under the watchful eye of the Chinese authorities, the artists in Sensitive Content confront censorship in the political realm. The exhibition also addresses more recent, everyday examples of censorship in social media, where the feminist, queer, and anti-racist work of artists like Polly Borland, and Emma Shapiro is frequently flagged, removed, and banned by overzealous artificial intelligence filters and undercooked “sexual solicitation” laws alike.
Curated by the artist Helen Beard, and art historians Alayo Akinkugbe and Maria Elena Buszek, this exhibition for Unit London will coincide with Frieze London, and will be accompanied by a catalogue, panel, and other events during that week pertaining to the show.
Join us for live poetry readings and an interactive AI-generated poetry performance inspired by our current exhibitions. Refreshments provided.
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102.2 cm x 135.9 cm x 3.8 cm
Selenicereus grandiflorus (Queen of The Night)
I AM WHORE
Infinity Selfie II
79 cm x 117 cm
Men on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Yo Mama’s Last Supper
76.2 cm x 381 cm
The Golden Pyramid
41.9 cm x 58.4 cm
Untitled (TV Sex)
29.6 cm x 20.8 cm Not For Sale
Collection Paul and Anna Stolper
West End Girl In A Denim World
54 cm x 41.5 cm
Parts Of A Rubber Tree
35 cm x 45 cm
Censored Painting #1
Cuerpas (Compilation 3)
Mauro C. Martinez
Sensitive Content No. 34
180 cm x 180 cm
Under/Over Exposed in the Museum, Monet
47 cm x 61 cm
PUSH THIS BUTTON
101 cm x 76 cm
Nursing Chair with Placenta Footstall
100 cm x 75 cm x 85 cm
Zärtliche Berührungen (Tender Touches)
95.5 cm x 97 cm
120 cm x 80 cm
Unit London Editions
Mauro C. Martinez
Sensitive Content No.33
Hand-signed and numbered by the artist,
with accompanying hand-signed and numbered work on paper.
Edition of 50
50.8 cm x 40.6 cm
THE PUTIN WAR MONSTER
Hand-signed and numbered by the artist
Edition of 5
54.5 cm x 78 cm
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