April 4, 2014

Horizontes - Pedro D’Onofrio Dibos (La Polaca)

my drawing (uncensored) / mi dibujo (sin censura)
I neither condone nor forgive censorship. It seems to me as if censoring a work of art –be it a book, a movie or a graphic novel– is not only a crime but mainly an effrontery towards freedom of speech. 

For decades, the battle against censorship has had its ups and downs. In the 50s, Wertham and his “Seduction of the Innocent” provided a fatal blow to the comic book industry. In the same decade, however, there were some victories. I’m thinking about the legal battle concerning the alleged “obscenity” of Ginsberg’s Howl:

It is not for us to choose the words. Mister Ginsberg, in telling his story, is telling the story as he sees it. He is using his words. There are books that have the power to change men’s minds and call attention to situations that are visible but unseen.

Now whether “Howl” is or is not obscene is of little importance to our world, faced as it is with the threat of physical survival, but the problem of what is legally permissible in the description of physical acts or feelings in arts and literature is of the greatest importance to a free society.

What is “prurient”? And to whom? The material so described is dangerous to some unspecified, susceptible reader. It is interesting that the person applying such standards of censorship rarely feels as if their own physical or moral health is in jeopardy. 

The desire to censor is not limited, however, to crackpots and bigots. There is in most of us, a desire to make the world conform to our own views. And it takes all of the force of our own reason as well as our legal institutions to defy so human an urge. The battle of censorship will not be finally settled by Your Honor’s decision, but you will either add to liberal, educated thinking, or by your decision, you will add fuel to the fire of ignorance.

Let there be light. Let there be honesty. Let there be no running from non-existent destroyers of morals. Let there be honest understanding.

Jake Ehrlich (c. 1957)

And finally, for those of you that think taking out a word from Marvel’s edition of Miracleman # 4 is no big deal, I leave you with an extract from an Alan Moore interview (conducted by Pádraig Ó Méalóid):

Alan Moore: The problems arose – I remember – It was something really stupid. It was probably one of the later ones, and I’d got a scene, probably taking place mostly inside the mind of Johnny Bates, where I had – there was somebody had called him a queer, a virgin, I think it was probably his adult evil self…

Pádraig Ó Méalóid: Yes, that’s right, I know exactly the scene you mean!

Alan Moore: He called him a queer, a virgin, and there was some other vaguely controversial, or apparently controversial piece of dialogue, and I remember Dez Skinn phoning me up and saying that he didn’t like these things and he wanted them changed. And I said that I didn’t want them changed because I thought that they were natural, they were a part of the characterisation, and also I didn’t see what the purpose of that was. Warrior was aimed at a fairly intelligent readership, we hadn’t had any complaints, and I tended to think that this was a hangover from Dez Skinn’s days at Marvel, and he mentioned lots of things – ‘why offend even one reader?’ – to which I responded, ‘because the alternative is to gear your entire product to the most squeamish and prudish member of the audience.

I wish more readers would express their concerns to Marvel Comics. I plan to keep buying Miracleman and I demand an edition faithful to the original. And that means no censorship. Hopefully this will be the first and last mistake on their part.

Esta semana fueron tres las muestras que marcaron la pauta en el circuito artístico limeño. En primer lugar, “Horizontes”, individual de Pedro D’Onofrio Dibos. El artista presenta una serie de cuadros que juegan con nociones paisajísticas pero que son, a la vez, una exploración de la riqueza de los colores, a partir de ciertos matices centrales. 

“Horizontes” llega a nosotros gracias a La Polaca, nuevo espacio cultural barranquino que ha decidido optar por el “Lado B” del arte. Y aquí la B no es de Barranco, sino una representación de aquellas propuestas o manifestaciones artísticas que rara vez encuentran cabida en galerías comerciales. 
Alexia Pedal Baertl

Cuando llegué a la concurrida sala me encontré con mi antigua colega de COSAS, Gabriela Maskrey y saludé a Bernat Perez Sobrebals. También conversé brevemente con Nicolás Tarnawiecki, quien además de ser uno de los principales artífices de  La Polaca es reyrrojino al igual que yo.

Nuevamente, el Centro Colich nos volvió a sorprender con dos imprescindibles muestras. En primer lugar, destaco “Creaturas” de Alexia Pedal Baertl. Se trata de una seria de esculturas magníficas, cinceladas con precisión, y sumamente simbólicas.

Por último, "Primitiva" (muestra colectiva de jóvenes artistas) reúne obras de María Gracia Fernández, Berenice Zagastizábal, Pancho García, Christian Luza, Ana Zegarra, Elizabeth Vásquez Arbulú, Ibrain Plácido, Italo Flores Silva y Carla Lucia Bardález. Mi favorito fue el cuadro de Italo Flores Silva: una lúcida disección de la imagen del felino, ese arquetipo tan constante en la historia de la humanidad y, por qué no, del arte.

En el transcurso de la noche conversé con mi amigo Reve (para ver sus obras pueden hacer click aquí y aquí) y con Adriana Pinillos, con quien no hablaba quizás desde la época en la que todavía estaba en Los Reyes Rojos. Una muy buena semana para el arte.

Arcadio B.


  1. Censorship apart, your art is getting better and better.

    1. Thank you Rui! That means a lot to me.
      I posted another page like this a few posts below.

    2. You're right, it went unnoticed.

    3. It happens sometimes.