Tuesday, 22 May 2012

The Naked Truth


22 May 2012


The  Naked truth about the Spear painting done by Brett Murray and displayed at the Goodman Gallery is causing an enormous uproar not just for the ANC  but also in the media.
The controversy and impending court case around the painting  has prompted me to put in my two cents. 

What have I got to lose? After all, this is only my very first blog, on a controversial subject such as this. 

But I have never  been one to shut up, or to follow the crowd, and when is the right time to ‘state your case’ or to tell it like it is? Now seems as good a time as any.

I have been writing for years, mainly articles on hundreds of different subjectsfor the US and UK markets.   I am now on the page as an emerging blogger and love having a platform to share my thoughts and wishes for the future of this beautiful country.   

I also want to share with you  my thoughts and impressions of this very brave artist, Brett Murray, who took a stand and expressed his views his way.   He actually gave me the courage to voice my own thoughts on this page. So thank you Brett.

The painting ‘The Spear’  shows Jacob Zuma  dressed in a suit, his fly open and his ‘unmentionables’, his enlarged penis, (giving the name: The Spear to the painting) on display for all and sundry to see,  which has led to  some very hot and angry people, who you would swear had never seen a naked body, a penis or a vagina for that matter. Perhaps they have forgotten that we are all born naked and we die naked.
Art is the conscience of the people. It is there to make a statement, to create change, to foster awareness in the viewer, to create debate.

Art changes us. As once an image is seen, we need to ask ourselves the question:  How do I really feel about this issue ?

You can deny, you can ignore, you can blind yourself to the facts, but the artist has made a statement, given you his anger, fears, thoughts and his very soul for you to interpret it any way you wish.

A writer writes, an artist paints, an actor performs, a musician makes music, a dancer dances.

We do what we do, it is in our nature. . How we see the world, is how we see it. 

All art is an expression of an inner voice which I like to call the whisperings of the soul, our inner voice leading us to our destiny.

Jeffrey Deaver, my favourite author says:   All cats see in the dark,
                                                                         Midnight is a cat,
                                                                         Therefore Midnight can see in the dark.

This is  logical,

and then he goes on to say:                          Unless Midnight is Blind.

Well, this made me think.

We are all blind to a certain degree, we only see what we want to see, what we are ‘comfortable’ with, and what affects us personally,  therefore we see our world from our own and very limited ‘perspective’.

 By limited I mean what we can relate to.

I hunted down articles to see what the fuss was about, and I was gratified to find out that this controversy will have a far-reaching effect on the future of  all South Africans in that two entrenched  parts of the Constitution will be debated, namely:

 1.   Goodman Gallery: Fighting for their right to Freedom of Expression


2.     J Zuma:                 His right to dignity and the right to privacy.
Zuma’s side wants the picture removed, to limit te damage already done. The Spear painting has gone viral by now, and around the world a couple of times.

I have an issue  with this right to uphold his dignity and the right to privacy! 

 If you are the president of a country, you have been elected by the people, therefore you have a responsibility to them. A bit of transparency, honesty, and caring if not sharing does help.  Does the oath he swore to mean nothing, or just more lip service? 

He has forfeited his rights to dignity. How can one show respect for someone who has been married six times, with 20, yes twenty children. No wonder we are overtaxed, we are feeding them all. Privacy is not an option when you are "on show" as head of a country.  People need to have a man in power who can be relied on to do the 'right thing' What he does in private is his affair, but the public cannot be fooled, and his history is out there for all to see, read and comment on.   

Jeffrey Deaver, author, says it well: 

 A man can forget what he hears, a man can forget what he sees, a man can forget what he says, but a man cannot forget what he does. 

Well, neither can we, when our rights to freedom of expression are muzzled and our politicians are corrupt.  A man is known by his deeds.

Unfortunately, Mr Zuma, we have all been exposed to your past. We may forgive  because we are human and we all make mistakes.

We don't forget and cannot condone your neglect of the poor while you enrich yourself at all of South Africa's expense
It is hard to forgive and forget how your attitude and actions have affected the mindset of the poor and unemployed South Africans who elected you into power. 

They believed in you and you have let them down. How you abuse the power you are using for your own gain, while millions are suffering.   

Zapiro, the ever controversial  and brave cartoonist for the Sunday Times puts it spot on:   He recreated the picture, placing a huge shower-head in the strategic genitalia area, with the caption: Want respect?  Earn it!  He is currentyly being sued by JZuma for a previous cartoon,  but he tells it like it is.  We the minority salute you Zapiro for your bravery and sense of humour.

The ANC are screaming:  Racial, Crude and Disrespectful. How long will they use that word, racial? 

Do they even realise that it has been 18 years we have had to put up with the hated word.

 It is smelling very much like the word 'apartheid'.  We are sick to death of being told how different we are by the ANC, as they will not allow their members to get rid of their prejudices.

If not for the ANC whites and blacks would get on just fine.   The ANC  have the country,  what more do they want? 

Let's look at this objectively:  This issue must have hit close to home for Zuma, as his outrage is pathetic.

Racial?  How is this painting racial.  In fact I think Zuma should be chuffed, it actually

                makes him look less green a bit like Shrek, and more like a leader than he
                really is, and he has lost weight in the picture too, which he should thank the 
                artist for.

Crude? Yes the painting does show him with large genitalia, which is crude, but he

                should be chuffed, his manhood is showing (at least this is transparent) and
                may be the only transparent thing about him, is that he has this appendage                   to prove that he is a male, not Shrek or some caroon character.

Disrespectful?  This is a joke, surely?  Give me one sane person who can say this with

                              a straight face. We are the laughing stock of the world as it is.

Zuma is crying and quoted as saying:   The picture sends the message that I am an abuser of power, corrupt, and suffer political  ineptness. These are his own words! Duh!
If the shoe fits wear it.

 So there is a purpose here:  The artist is expressing his anger, his
disillusionment at an unjust and very blind dictator, blind to his peoples suffering. 

 Zuma's 'feelings'  are hurt.   I am very sorry about that,  but the picture struck a nerve, and opened a wound which caused everyone who saw it to react, each according to his/her own concience. 

All artists. be they painters, writers, the media, theatre and performing arts, and the ordinary man/woman in the street, right down to the poor beggar sitting on the corner asking for a hand-out because he cannot find employment - he is  25 years old,  are  sick and tired of the word Racial. 

This word is thrown around for political sympathy.  I, we, and all of South Africa if you are not already sick of being told "we are too white or not black enough' then think and read and find out what your rights are, because you do have rights, the right to Freedom of Speech.

Please let us hold the government accountable to uphold the Constitution which is there to serve every South African, not just the ruling party and their cronies, who are diverting, and making a mockery out of all that Freedom of action, speech and thought stands for.

There is such a division  all caused by the word Racial, amongst people.  I have had enough bullshit shoved down my  throat by the majority who seem to be blinded out of a false loyalty to idols with feet of clay, shower heads, and grasping hands.  This is not what Nelson Mandela wanted, and not the Freedom he fought for.

            QUOTE OF THE DAY If  you are not afraid of the voices  inside you, 
                                                 you will not  fear the  critics outside of  you.                      
                                                                   Natalie Goldberg- Bestselling Author

 Where is your sense of humour mr president?  Just because we disagree, dissent is not disloyalty, allow us to debate the pro's and cons of this issue.  We are after all a free society.

Just before publishing this post, a 15 year old defaced the said Spear painting, accompanied by a professor, and witnessed by a journalist inside the Goodman Gallery. The gallery is taking action.

My question to you, the reader:  Should all South Africans keep their right to Freedom of Expression and Speech?

Please feel free to comment on The Naked Truth post, or email me, I would love to hear your views if you are one of the minority, majority, or anywhere in-between.



Sean Nefdt said...

Well done my sister you are a true visionary with a rare sense of accountability and a true sense of integrity , keep up the good works.

Theresa Stolk said...

Thank you for your kind words, Sean, I really feel strongly about this subject, and need to make people aware that they can make a difference.