You may think that sex has always been a part of art, which to a certain extent is true. However, one of our youngest london public gallaries the Barbican, having reached the ripe old age of twenty five, has taken this to a new level by hosting an exhibition called Seduced: Art and sex from antiquity to now, entrance reserved strictly for those aged 18 and over.
The intention of this exhibition is to cover the art of seduction as it has been practiced over the past 2000 years. Kate Bush, apparently no relation to the singer or your President, says that it is a “no-holds barred exhibition” the intention of which is to examine and explore all aspects of seduction of any preference. With well over 250 exhibits including portraits from the walls of Pompeii; Indian sexual literature, little known paintings of sexual acts from renowned painters such as Turner, pornographic woodcuts from Japan and Andy Warhol’s short 1963 film entitled “Blow job,” it is not difficult to see what they mean.
Although the museum stresses that this an attempt to cover a serious subject, from the final paragraphs of the article it becomes apparent that the real motive is anything but. Being a public gallary, the Barbican relies heavily on grants from the local authority, in this case the City of London. The director (curate) of the museum has admitted that these grants are being cut back, which will severely curtain their activities unless they can replace funding from elsewhere.
Thus, despite all the brave and intellectual words and phrases, at the end of the day this is not a “serious” exhibition, simply an example of an organisation utilising an age old promotional theory that “sex sells.” Why can’t they be honest about their motives?
PS: To all our readers, please note that from 9am tomorrow (GMT) (24th February) we are moving to a new host. You can find us at http://www.britandgrit.com/ and we hope that you will be able to join us there. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking you for your company and look forward to more of the same.