This whole affair about Brett Murray’s painting of Zuma’s exposed genitals is, quite frankly, a load of bollocks. But it has raised a number of troublesome issues regarding freedom of expression, censorship, the right to dignity and the role of art in society.
So much has already been written about Zuma’s dangling tottie that I don’t want to rehash the whole cock and balls story. In summary, however: Yes, ‘The Spear’ and its encompassing exhibition titled ‘Hail to the Thief II’ would have hardly made a blip on the popular consciousness if the ANC had done the sensible thing by ignoring it. Yes, the ensuing shitstorm of publicity has raised Brett Murray’s profile into the stratosphere. And yes, the sudden escalation of hysteria – culminating in the painting’s unauthorised defacement – has made rational discussion impossible. Continue reading