For hot New York art curator Savannah Spirit, it was just a matter of course that she’d share images from her latest show, Hotter Than July: A Sexploration, with her 2,000-plus friends on the social network. Alas, Facebook pulled her account without warning on the opening day of the exhibit.
Spirit (pictured) didn’t notice until the day after, when she logged into her account to see what kind of comments the works and the show generated – and she found herself a part of a social network that is growing larger all the time – artists and others who have been censored by Facebook.
But as is often the case with censored artworks, the Facebook shutdown had a real upside for the show, which ended up garnering a lot more attention than it may have otherwise after word got around about her content getting pulled.
Spirit’s page was not the only one related to the show that got censored by Facebook; a featured artist from the show, Marne Lucas, also had her page pulled, and the resulting publicity in the New York art world sent droves of people to the show, and inspired other artists in the community to post on their pages about her show and how her page had been taken down.
The situation created so much hubub that New York Magazine art critic, Jerry Saltz, chose the show as one of his picks of the week – and for Spirit and her artists, the Facebook effect has created lots of waves for the show, driving up attendance for the entire run and an expected large crowd for the closing show party scheduled for February the 12th.
Both curator and artist had their pages reinstated by the end of January, but for Spirit, this is an issue that isn’t going to go away. What could Facebook and the artistic community to help clarify the difference between erotic art and sexually explicit material?