Artist: Ben Rubin, Cedar Nordbye, Julie Purwin, and Steve Giese
Confronting Bodies: University of Iowa officials and police
Date of Action: 1995
Specific Location: Iowa City, Iowa
Description of Artwork: The piece, "Exquisite Community" is a collection of nine paintings of human body parts on bed-sheets, including a picture of male genitalia. When assembled the panels show three figures.
Description of Incident: After the necessary permits were obtained, the paintings were attached to an outside wall of a university building as the backdrop for a campus event promoting fine arts. However, the director of planning and administrative services, Richard Gibson, ordered the pieces removed, claiming that they violated the schools policy prohibiting the attachment of materials to the outside of university buildings. Police also suggested that people called to complain about the paintings. The police removed the paintings from the buildings.
Results of Incident: The artists have requested compensation for the panels damaged during removal. The Iowa State Attorney General's office is processing the request.
Source: Artistic Freedom Under Attack, 1996
Submitted By: NCAC