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Piece of art or obscenity?

The moral police sprung into action to stop an art exhibition under the provocative title Tits n Clits n Elephant Dick (Part I) in Mumbai.

india Updated: Aug 08, 2006 05:44 IST

The moral police sprung into action to stop an art exhibition under the provocative title Tits n Clits n Elephant Dick (Part I) in Mumbai.

Acting on a complaint of obscenity against the exhibition put up by artistes Gitanjali Dang, Sanjeev Khandekar and Vaishali Narkar, the Colaba police wanted the exhibition shut down. But the artistes chose to register their protest against the complainant Pushpa Vijula by shrouding the ‘offending works’ in black.

Khandekar was defensive. “This has been a very difficult exhibition from its inception. Vaishali and I consulted artists and friends to get their opinion on the works we had planned for the exhibition. Based on their feedback, we even rejected some complete works because we thought they were inappropriate,” he says.

But artistes had different views on the controversy. “From a purely aesthetic point of view I’m not impressed. In my opinion, the intent is to shock,” says Akbar Padamsee. Shireen Gandhy of Gallery Chemould says she was not in favour on “any censorship” and backed Khandekar.

But Pravina Mecklai from the Jamaat Art Gallery found the title of the art show “unnecessarily provocative and decided against going to the exhibition.”