Home > Art and Culture > Susa bannata dalla Linden

Susa bannata dalla Linden

Una notice piena di sconcerto è stata spedita oggi dall’artista olandese Rose Borchovski. La linden le ha infatti rimandato indietro uno dei lavori dell’istallazione che aveva presentato per le cerimonie ufficiali organizzate nel Metaverso in occasione del 7mo compleanno di Second Life. Si tratta di “The kiss”, una delle foto dell’ultimo capitolo di Rose sulla Storia di Susa Bubble che da tempo l’artista mette in scena con grande successo in varie sim del Metaverso.

La motivazione comunicatale dalla Linden è stata che il regolamento delle land “General maturing raiting” non consente di esporre immagini di nudo, neppure a carattere artistico. Sembrerebbe dunque una pedissequa applicazione delle norme linden.

Pubblichiamo qui sotto la lettera di Rose Borchovski e, a seguire, quella di Peter Greenaway, noto regista inglese, amico e collaboratore di Rose in alcuni lavori teatrali real life dell’artista olandese, autore di film di grande valore artistico quali “Giochi nell’acqua”, “I racconti del cuscino”, “Rembrandt’s J’accuse”, “The Marriage”.

La rappresentante della Linden, da noi interpellata, non ha voluto dare ulteriori spiegazioni.

ROSE SPAM: Susa banned from celebration

Hello Secondlife art Lovers:

My Susa Bubble Installation : The Kiss has been returned to me from the SL7B sims where Linden is celebrating Secondlife. I quote “The images on your build are in violation of our general rating, to be clear: Nudity is not allowed at art events with a general maturity rating.”

I would like to point out and educate Linden Lab that most of classic and contemporary art is based upon nudity. Not because of Sex, but because of the beauty and the vulnerability of the human body, the human body we all share and look at in the bathroom mirror in the early morning.

The story of Susa is a sweet but savage story, told in image and text, sound and installation. It is about our dark inside, but also shows how vulnerable and lonely we all can be. My art shows a naked body, but it is not about nudity or sex.

Art being shown at a public art event of Linden means pretty pictures that bring aesthetic pleasure void of all critical thinking. Culture must be “safe” / sterile, no matter how free of content that makes it. As implemented by LL, “Community Standards” means content so content less that no viewer has even a remote chance of being caused to think about anything, to question any of their values or assumptions. Safe in SL means safe from thought.

When I protested against it in the group chat I was shut out .I was told not to discuss it in SL7B Group Chat “because this isn’t the place” — because NO place is the place to discuss it — because we don’t even want to think or let others think about the ideas we don’t want to think about

The worst part of censorship is not that which is censored, but the climate of self-censorship it imposes on all artists. Art is about having a voice. Art is about thinking differently and about thinking from fresh perspectives. When artists are not allowed to have a voice, culture is not allowed to progress.

When I hide my susas nakedness, I have stopped telling her story.

Nothing is more resistant to authoritarian control than a naked body. Control & conformity require uniforms. Nudity is too wild and uncontrolled. When you know my Susa Bubble story you can see it isn’t really even about “nudity” but that just suggests how powerful the forces for thinking-avoidance-at-all-costs are. Better to censor the world than risk allowing in a question that could topple the status quo. Authority does not like questions. Authority does not like creativity. Authority does not like art. Authority does not like nudity.

I did not bring my installation to the celebration to publicize myself, I make in art in SL because I want to share my Susa story and touch people

Greetings Rose Borchovski


Dear Courtney Linden,

As a reaction to the rejection of Rose Borchovski ‘s art installation : The Kiss at the Celebration Sim, I would like you to read this.  It seems to me incredible that you are enforcing censorship concerning nudity in public forums on Second Life.

Traditions of nudity in Western Art have for centuries been legitimate, honourable and creditable. The cyperspaces of Second Life – and Second Life has so far proved itself to be among the very best of such events – are among todays’ cutting edge of visual languages – continuing an enviable tradition of new technologies in the visual arts now that the orthodox cinematic arts are proving themselves moribund and archaic, and enforcing new efforts to avoid artistic elitism and the encouragement of egalitarianism in artistic expression Any artist worth his or her salt, always must engage in contemporary technologies – it has been the very reputable tradition of the most worthwhile artists that has benefitted us all. Visual artists have always taught us to look. The man-made world owes them everything.

Just because you have eyes does not mean you can see. And the political and social emancipation of the naked and the nude by artists has been essential for humanist civilisation – it has given you and me great liberalities of thinking and self-respect.

Whatever else you think you may be doing with Second Life, you have created a very sophisticated tool that combines traditions of painting with cinema and the graphic arts in present tense terms that permits visual expression of language like never before. Do not underestimate what you have created – but to remain creditable you simply cannot enforce reactionary hypocritical standards that have been so discredited over the last five hundred years.

Like any self-respecting artist of course I am against gratuitous exploitation that demeans and insults intelligence and sensibilities but by your blanket censorship you are now doing both those things – insulting artistic intelligence and demeaning sensibility.

I suspect you are responding to pressure, to some form of mind-police, certainly to some form of political correctness that is related to money and the slow swing to the political right that is happening all over the world related to civilisation’s fear of financial insecurity. Don’t go that way. You are endangering a tool that is greater than you.

When the cultural histories of the early 21st century are written from hindsight, you will undoubtedly find the possibilities and successes of Second Life being eminently lauded and praised. Too many art forms in the 20th century have been stunted and deformed and deflected into ineffectuality and banality by small mindedness. If you really insist in so-called protection of innocence (and I really wonder what that really is – is it a synonym in fact for ignorance and intolerance?) then do so on a careful case by case basis with intelligence and foresight. This will be troublesome for you to do, if you want to do it well. But it will be very well worth your while,

Yours, hoping you will see sense, and not be influenced by short-term gain.

Peter Greenaway, film-maker.

  1. cesaredrucker
    26 giugno 2010 alle 11:11

    Thank you for submitting this interesting thread. I feel that LLs is, at the least, confused and contradictory. There are some important issues at stake which need to be addressed and need not to be left in a grey area. I’d say mainly:

    1) Second Life is, by Statute an “Over 18” Community. This position has been so strongly reaffirmed, that the old classification between “Parental Guidance”, “Mature” and “Adult” SIMs has been discontinued in favour of a more terminologically exact distinction between “General”, “Moderate” and “Adult”. However, despite the renaming, the confusion stays. Provided that people under 18 years of age are not allowed to join SL, is Linden Lab acting as a “Moral Police” and abiding irrational requests from certain people who, without a doubt, would be extremely happy to cover nudities on Caravaggio and Raffaello’s paintings? Absurda sunt vitanda, the Latins used to say. Maybe Linden Labs should decide which side are they on
    2) It is certainly true that there is a strong difference between what is to be deemed as “Artistic”, “Erotic” and “Pornographic” and the definitions are not unequivocal, but common sense and I’d also say culture, helps a lot. Would it be too much to ask for pornographic material to be confined to Adult-Rated SIMs and discard the age-verification process in favour of a more rational agreement by which, every user decides out of his own freedom whether he wants to be exposed to depictions of violence or sexual intercourse, as it happens on most Internet sites?
    3) Following Linden Labs’ decision to return Rose Borchovski’s artwork, if we had to extend by analogy this statement, should Museums all around the world forbid the entrance to people under 18? Can you imagine what a catastrophe that would be? As Sir Peter Greenaway rightly pointed out, there have been many examples in ancient and modern history of reaction to “moral corruption” (not necessarily linked to sexual issues): From Girolamo Savonarola to the Counter Reformation, to the French Revolution, to the Islamic Extremism surging. If we look back, all these opinion movements caused pain, desperation and ultimately, violence and murder.

    Second Life can contribute to the progress of culture and mankind, if properly used. Now, whose side is Linden Labs on?

    • simbaschumann
      26 giugno 2010 alle 13:11

      Thank you for your comment Cesare. Your analysis is interesting and clear. I obviously agree with your point of view.

  2. SaveMe Oh
    21 giugno 2010 alle 19:42

    It will not take long before Silvio Berlusconi will buy LINDENLAB. They are just the same kind of people.

  3. 19 giugno 2010 alle 20:51

    Thank you, Simba, for alerting us to this unfortunate circumstance with an artist you so capably represent. It seems like this is about a rush to judgment on the part of a rather clueless social media type. Is it remediable? Probably, but it may be beyond the term of our virtual lives when it happens. I think the remedy is to see artistic and political expression somewhat as we do in the real world as an area largely protected because of the importance of the content, which in this instance is quite obvious. How else could this powerful message of passion, longing, disappointment be conveyed than as Rose has done? Who in their right mind would misconstrue this as prurient? Is this not eminently salutary for general audiences such as we find in the virtual world where all manner of poobahs so ineptly make determinations on what is acceptable or not for what they imagine their audiences to be? It is problematic when one sets oneself up as an arbiter of propriety, because such an arbiter often makes bad calls. It’s fine for an umpire to call them as he sees them in baseball, but in matters of free speech, not even the most accomplished and experienced jurist is capable, hence we have protected speech. If the virtual world resembles baseball, then send us all your stupid umpires. If the virtual world resembles the real world, and it is not unreasonable to suppose that it actually does, it is completely mistaken to allow incompetent people free rein over the sims, returning things left and right out of a misplaced sense of order.

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