Nick Cave Wins Legal Fight over “Truth Be Told” Artwork in Upstate New York

The zoning board of the village of Kinderhook, New York, on Tuesday ruled unanimously that the Nick Cave operate Truth of the matter Be Advised, which is composed of the titular phrase rendered in 21-foot high vinyl letters and which spanned the 160-foot-large brick confront of Jack Shainman Gallery outpost the University, is an artwork and not a indicator, and therefore simply cannot be censored. As a result, the village will not endeavor to gather from the University the $200-a-day good threatened by village code enforcer Peter Bujanow for violating the municipality’s signage polices.

The ruling arrived soon after receipt of a petition, signed by a lot more than 3,300 people today, demanding that the perform be allowed to continue to be, and just in excess of a week right after a 3-and-a-half-hour Zoom listening to on the subject attended by 180 persons, all through which the perform was passionately defended by museum directors, villagers, and children. All were responding to village mayor Dale Leiser’s competition, designed just about quickly following the work went up at the stop of October, that the text piece constituted a indicator, not artwork, and consequently was not permissible in accordance with community statutes. The debate raged all winter season, with the get the job done coming down as scheduled at the conclude of January, just days before the zoning board’s ruling.

Aiding Truth Be Explained to’s standing as an artwork had been the ideas of various storied institutions to exhibit the function following its removing from the Faculty. Mass MOCA will display the perform, which Cave conceived in response to the killing final summer months of George Floyd by the Minneapolis law enforcement, on billboards close by the North Adams, Massachusetts, museum this thirty day period the Brooklyn Museum will then show the get the job done on its plaza commencing Might 14, the day that a group demonstrate from the institution’s assortment, including a person of Cave’s “soundsuits,” opens.

“To me, it is like Picasso’s painting depicting the bombing of Guernica,” board member Gregory Seaman advised The Artwork Newspaper. “That portray made a strong political statement, and it was art. Which is comparable to Truth Be Told.

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