Nudity complaints sparks new warning signs at Te Papa exhibition

Author
Katrina Bennett,
Publish Date
Mon, 20 Jul 2020, 11:14AM
Concerns were raised about a video that features in the exhibition, depicting a writhing, naked man with his genitals in full view. Photo / MAU: House of Night and Day
Concerns were raised about a video that features in the exhibition, depicting a writhing, naked man with his genitals in full view. Photo / MAU: House of Night and Day

Nudity complaints sparks new warning signs at Te Papa exhibition

Author
Katrina Bennett,
Publish Date
Mon, 20 Jul 2020, 11:14AM

New warning signs are being installed after an art exhibition featuring nudity sparked complaints at Te Papa.

MAU: House of Night and Day is an installation by renowned director, choreographer and multidisciplinary artist Lemi Ponifasio.

It opened at the national museum in February.

Te Papa spokesperson Kate Camp said since then the exhibition had attracted four complaints, two of which were made last week by two women visiting with their grandchildren.

The women were concerned about a video that features in the exhibition, depicting a writhing, naked man with his genitals in full view.

They argued signs advising of the exhibition's content were small and easily missed.

Camp said museum staff had taken the feedback on board and were happy to change the signage to make it more prominent.

"It's really important for us that when people come to Te Papa they have a great experience and so when we got that feedback about people wanting the signage to be more prominent we took that on board and we're making the changes to the signs this week.

"They'll be a little more prominent, a little higher up and the signage itself will be a bit bigger so it's easier to spot."

Camp said they had received heaps of really positive feedback about the art installation, including from a lot of families who were in over the weekend saying they found the artwork amazing.

She said it was about striking a balance between showcasing great art and letting people choose what's right for their family.

"I think when people come to art galleries they expect to see content that challenges them.

"But it's really important that people can make their own choice about what they want to see and what they want their family to see and that's why it's important to us that signage is in the right place and nice and clear for everyone.

"We want to keep it open so people can see it and enjoy it, but also let them know what they're going to be encountering."

Camp said they had spoken with Ponifasio to let him know about the increased signage.

"We approached him yesterday to see if he had any comment that he wanted to make.

"He didn't have anything he wanted to add to the discussion but he's comfortable with the changes that we're making to the signage."