The Violators, a group exhibition curated by artist Gio Black Peter at Studio UZI, Brooklyn, New York, July 27th through August 13th 2018. Opening reception July 27th, 8pm. Featuring the work of Alex La Cruz, Anne Lamb, Ari Fraser, Benjamin Ackerman, Bruce LaBruce, Damien Blottiere, Gio Black Peter, Joseph Wolfgang Ohlert, Natasha Gornik, Oliver Sarley, Paco Y Manolo, Ruben Esparza, Slava Mogutin, Stuart Sandford, Timothy Hull.
Letter from Gio Black Peter
Your posts have been deleted.
Your accounts have been disabled.
What kind of content posted on social media warrants having your account deactivated? Who determines genitalia too offensive for the general public to view while simultaneously approving images of let’s say, the Trump clan propping up the head of an elephant that they just murdered? At what point did we as a society decide that images of violence are acceptable but nudity and sexuality should be shunned? When people ask me what I’ve posted to merit having my account deactivated my answer is always the same; I post images of my work which is a reflection of my life-just like everybody else. To date I’ve had 10 instagram accounts ( it’s why there is an x at the end of my instaname), 15 Facebooks, 2 youtubes and 4 vimeos. One account was deleted for posting a photo of 2 topless friends sunbathing. That same summer I was invited to my friend’s beach house where I shot a video of myself enjoying his outdoor shower. There went another account. On one occasion I posted a selfie with my bare ass. My fame hungry left testicle happened to also make an appearance and that was too much for the social media custodians. Butts are ok but ballsacks a big no-no. Recently my friend and fellow “Violator” artist *Slava Mogutin posted a photo of himself at an exhibition standing in front of a nude photograph only to have it deleted seconds later. I have artist friends from around the world, Queers and non Queers who are constantly targeted by censorship on social media. Because Queer voices and lives are less likely to be represented in mainstream media outlets, social media often provides those on the fringes of society with a vital outlet, a place to tell their stories. Images are important. It is why the advertising industry is worth billions. It is the reason why it is important to see multiple ethnicities, multiple sexualities and all genders portrayed in magazines, on the runway, in films and in our social landscape. When one group is excluded from a platform where everyone else has a presence, it is discrimination. Censorship is a form of discrimination. Nothing is more clearly an indication of this than the message you receive when a post or account is disabled. For example when Instagram deletes your post the message you receive states: "We removed your post because it doesn’t follow our community guidelines. If you violate our guidelines again, your account may be restricted or disabled.“ That is how The Violators group exhibition was born. I wanted to celebrate artists from "my community” and give a platform to the images that were an expression of their lives. Images which were deemed “too offensive”. Inspired by the guerrilla artists from New York City’s 80’s downtown scene (David Wojnarowicz, Kenny Scharf, Diane Arbus and Jean-Michel Basquiat to name a few) the exhibition will take place in my show studio. In the words of of Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox “Sisters are doin it for themselves”.
- Gio Black Peter , NYC 2018
* see Slava’s open letter to Mark Zuckerberg on The Huffington post: The Censorship Monster