Censorship of Art by Horizon Utilities at Hamilton Public Library
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Horizon Utilities freezes out local artists.
Hamilton, Ontario — September 20, 2012 — Horizon Utilities removed two artist-rendered fridges from an exhibition at the Hamilton Public Library, before it opened to the public.
In early July of 2012, Brickworks Communications Inc. on behalf of Horizon Utilities approached the Hamilton Public Library to partner in a project intended to send the message that a spare refrigerator or old refrigerators are bad for the environment.
The exhibition was to take place in various areas of the library and have its formal opening to the public during Supercrawl.
Four artists or artists groups were to get one refrigerator each and the tag line is: “If you don’t have a professional artist to make an artwork out of your old refrigerator, maybe you should get rid of it.”
The participating artists, Kearon Roy Taylor, Katrine Foss, Frances Ward, Andrew McPhail and Svava Thordis Juliusson (McPhail and Juliusson collaborated), each received a fridge with which to work.
The artists did not receive any guidelines or rules, beyond being presented with the mandate of making an artwork out of an old fridge. The artists accepted this challenge and set about making their individual marks on the fridges.
On Friday, September 14th, Katrine Foss received an email from a Brickworks representative. In the email, Foss was thanked and told that Horizon had chosen not to display her fridge. Later on September 14th, Kearon Roy Taylor’s fridge was tampered with and removed, without his knowledge, after it had been installed at the library. A representative from Horizon told Foss that she needed to understand that the library is a public place, and Roy Taylor was told that his work was inapropriate for children. They were also presented with a statement, via a representative Brickworks Communications, along more official lines, that the works did not express strongly enough the theme of conservation.
The remaining two works are still intact at the library, but Juliusson, McPhail and Ward intend to black-out their respective fridges in solidarity with Roy Taylor and Foss, today starting at 2pm. Hamilton Public Library - 55 York Blvd, in the lobby between Jackson Square and the library proper.
For more information or to request interviews contact:
Kearon Roy Taylor
Svava Thordis Juliusson