In Defense of Freedom of Expression

[声明]  2016年11月27日 公開

The basic principle of the Association of Art Critics is to honor the autonomy of artistic expression and criticism, to seek their unimpeded preservation, and for members to mutually support one another in the fulfillment of these goals. The Association will oppose and resist any unreasonable suppression from exterior forces against the autonomy of artistic expression and criticism, including enforced and arbitrary alterations of any given work (or demand thereof). All who engage in the practices of expression have the right to present them in public. Artistic expression and criticism are made public in order to open one’s accomplishments to discussion (and it is only through public presentation that an open discussion of the evaluation of an expression becomes possible). Through such dialogical interaction, the quality of expressive or discursive activity must constantly be improved and its integrity preserved. An artistic expression, when publicly exhibited, should not be unnecessarily suppressed based on arbitrary differences of opinion or biased interpretations. Furthermore, it must never be preemptively inhibited based on fear for a yet unknown interpretation, or as a precautionary or deterrent measure. Artistic and critical activities involve autonomous judgment and criteria derived from these premises formed through a long and accumulated history of arguments. The activity of the Association is established upon such historical endowment, and has the preservation and support of this autonomy as its primary goal.* It is the duty of each member of the Association of Art Critics to make perpetual effort to sustain such autonomy of expressive and critical activity. *One of the main objectives of the International Association of Art Critics is stated as follows: “to defend impartially freedom of expression and thought and oppose arbitrary censorship.”」 Also, according to the website of AICA USA: “A statement against censorship was one of AICA's founding principles”   Appendix 1. If a given expression contains threat, intimidation, or defamation that endangers any individual’s life, this expression must obviously be criticized as such. This is because such expression is not open to discussion, but is rather regarded as an imposition (unfalsifiable assertion) of a will to exclude. 2. Artistic expression and the act of criticism has the right to retain its autonomy (right of exercising self-scrutiny, adjustment, and alteration) in all phases pertaining to the process of creation. Such internal process following an autonomous logic must strictly be distinguished from unreasonable interpolation, alteration, suppression, or erasure through intervention of exterior authorities (censorship by arbitrary application of law, or imposition based on asymmetrical social relationships regarding position or interest). While we consistently protect the right for autonomous activity, we will not allow for the arbitrary intervention (censorship, interpolation) of external coercive powers to enter the process of creation.