the creeping plague of the "warning label"

In the last 24 hours I've heard or read comments from several people suggesting that the Brooklyn College MFA thesis show difficulties [see also] might have been avoided had the gallery posted a "warning label". I'm also dismayed by the recent sighting of these labels outside some Chelsea galleries.

I totally disagree with the idea that we have to warn people - anywhere - when human sexuality is addressed. Only in America would such a suggestion be met with anything but ridicule.

I think "warnings" are particulary inappropriate where art is concerned. Nothing interesting ever happens when people encounter only what they expect.

Is it necessary to point out that if you can find your way into an exhibition you can find your way out?

And I cannot accept the argument that it's for the sake of the children. Kids will only be traumatized if their parents make a scene.

I would add that this country has already become far too "infantilized" if I didn't have so much respect for Les Enfants we think we are protecting to use that word. Let's just agree we do no service to people of any age by dumbing-down an entire culture.

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Published on May 6, 2006 6:15 PM.

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