Mark Photowalker kindly invited me to the opening of the ‘More is more’ exhibition of 700 works of art collected by Gordon Froud, a well-known local artist, at the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (FADA) of the University of Joburg. Although there was not much I’d have bought myself, the collection was quite impressive and well-presented. I especially liked the quirkier things like the ‘poes’ and ‘doos gesig’ doormats.
The one thing that surprised me was the warning sign at the door: “Some of the content of this exhibition might offend sensitive viewers”. There was another such message posted at the stairs leading to the area where there were indeed some artworks with bare flesh and some genitalia, but nothing especially disturbing. I’m left wondering what kind of pussy university UJ is, that they feel the need to warn visitors to an exhibition of modern art. Are they implying the rest of us are insensitive viewers? Do they also take care to warn UJ students that some knowledge gained at this institution may be disturbing and can challenge ideas that are firmly lodged in their minds? FADA, by all means notify parents that it’s not suitable for kids, but if grown adults choose to be offended (yes, it’s always a choice) by art, so be it, perhaps they’ll learn something.