Instagram and Facebook delete Your Personal View install shots

Install view, In the Cut, Gallery Luisotti, August 2016, Cindy Bernard

Instagram and Facebook delete Your Personal View install shots

On August 7, Gallery Luisotti published installation shots from In the Cut on Facebook and Instagram. Within a few hours, the images containing my work were removed without explanation by both social media platforms.

The works in question are from Your Personal View of (Social) Nudism, which draws on images from magazines promoting a social nudist lifestyle. The magazine photographs depict unclothed men, women and children engaged in the kind of leisure activities one associates with summer camps – sports, cookouts, sunbathing and friendly gatherings. Or in this case, images of women pointing a camera towards the lens of another camera which is in turn photographing them.

 

Install view (censored), In the Cut, Gallery Luisotti, August 2016 (Left: Lisa Ohlweiler, Right: Cindy Bernard

Install view (censored), In the Cut, Gallery Luisotti, August 2016 (Left: Lisa Ohlweiler, Right: Cindy Bernard)

Prior to 1958, most social nudist magazines blurred male and female genitals in published photographs to comply with postal regulations which considered frank depictions of bodies obscene. In 1958, the Supreme Court ruled that the variety and content of nudist magazines failed to meet the tests for obscenity, freeing the magazines to be distributed via the mail uncensored.

Install view (censored), In the Cut, Gallery Luisotti, August 2016 (Left: Cindy Bernard, Right Whitney Hubbs)

Install view (censored), In the Cut, Gallery Luisotti, August 2016 (Left: Cindy Bernard, Right Whitney Hubbs)

Since Facebook and Instagram are not as enlightened as the Warren court of 1958, I’ve taken a cue from nudist magazines and blurred the genital regions so Gallery Luisotti can distribute installation shots as they normally would. That this is necessary is a good reminder that corporate owned social media platforms are not forums for free expression and to be sure to maintain and support forums which are not so encumbered.

For unedited versions of these images see the Gallery Luisotti website.

 

 

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