Letters to the Editor

Published in May 2012 no. 341

 Muddying the waters

Dear Editor,

A substantial part of Peter Hill’s review of my book Permanent Revolution: Mike Brown and the Australian Avant-Garde 1953–1997 recounts the artist’s prosecution for obscenity following the visit of the head of the Darlinghurst vice squad to Brown’s exhibition Paintin’ A Go-Go at Sydney’s Gallery A in November 1965 (March 2012). As I pointed out in the book, Brown is the only Australian artist to have been successfully prosecuted for obscenity – having confronted the manifestly absurd censorship laws in Australia at that time. But the immediate and specific event that motivated Brown’s ill-fated protest was the prosecution of the editors of Sydney’s satirical magazine Oz (Richard Neville, Richard Walsh, and Martin Sharp), who, having been found guilty in the Sydney Magistrates Court, were  facing prison sentences at the time of Brown’s exhibition.

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Published in May 2012 no. 341

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