March 6, 2020
International Association of Art Critics, Japan
Michio Hayashi, President
The press has reported that an independent external committee is being established which will be empowered to reject artworks which it deems unsuitable for the “Hiroshima Triennale 2020 in BINGO,” scheduled to open in September of this year.
Press reports describe a committee established as a separate entity from the official organizing committee of the exhibition, and entrusted with decision making power regarding the appropriateness of artworks to be exhibited, which we have no choice but to regard as an explicit official censorship body.
If a committee with such a function is established, censorship approval will be required for all exhibited artworks and the entire art festival itself, which will therefore cease to possess any artistic autonomy. Artists will be required to submit works for this exhibition under the premise of this censorship, and all expressive possibilities will be stunted by being forced into the limitations of the censorship criteria.
The exhibition audience as well will be deprived of the possibility to regard the artworks in the festival as being truly autonomous productions on the part of the participating artists and curators, and it goes without saying that the authenticity of the works as objects for appreciation and criticism cannot be protected.
It is to be expected that artists from Japan and abroad as well as stakeholders in the art world will avoid supporting and participating in an exhibition whose works must undergo explicit prior approval for their propriety. Such an event can in no way be considered an exhibition in which the artistic judgement of individual artists and curators has been respected.
The International Association of Art Critics (Japan) hereby states that if, as noted above, an external Review Committee for the “Hiroshima Triennale 2020 in BINGO,” is established, it will not recognize this exhibition as one which upholds international standards.
(Related past statements by the Association)