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Where there's smokes, there's controversy at MassArt

MassArt student Maj-Britt Pedersen writes about having her non-textile dress rejected from a MassArt showing at Copley Place because it's made out of cigarette packs:

In today's world of Donald Trump and heroin overdoses, how could a dress constructed of cigarette packs be deemed too controversial? Cigarettes are not illegal. Nowhere on the dress does it tell anyone they should smoke. In fact, the bust is made up of the warnings.

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Comments

I'm sorry, no offense to the artist, but this story is the height of irony.

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Cigarette smoking is one of the few taboos left in our society.

If it had been made of faux marijuana leaves it would've been accepted in a heartbeat.

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making the wearer naked. See-through been done before and wouldn't be controversial. This is a Big Fail for Mass Art because art needs to challenge and provoke.

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Did anyone try to contact MassArt about why the dress wasn't accepted? This whole story just reads like the ramblings of an unreliable narrator. Maybe the dress was just rejected because it isn't very good?

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Look at the blog (via the link in the story that Adam posted) with photos of the dress.

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It looks pretty damn intricate. The front is totally bonkers. Like a suit of armor that dwarves would make if they were women smokers in their 40's who live in Lynn.

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No one has asked MassArt why the dress wasn't accepted and we're only getting one side of the story. From the person who believes they were wronged and has a reason to make the MassArt look bad.

For all we know the artist missed turning in a form on time and that was the reason she was left out of the show.

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It sounds like she attended a forum at the school and noticed that her dress was not on a dress form for exhibition with other non-textile dresses. Thus it began.

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Yes, that is her story.

No one has asked MassArt for their side of the story.

Her story even implies that her dress wasn't the only one left out:

While there, some students were instructed to leave their dresses on the dress forms.

but she is the only one claiming censorship.

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There's more than one side to every story. Ranting on a blog does not qualify as reporting.

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...or didn't when I went there. And that was 20 years after such codes were adopted all around the country.

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Make no mistake: That's a horrible decision on part of the faculty.

Makes one wonder if the school was afraid someone at Copley would be "offended" and not allow the school to showcase work in the future even if the work in question was well made and has artistic merit.

If that was Copley's response the school should have walked rather then compromise but perhaps the faculty weren't willing to stand up for principle.

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Sorry double post.

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I myself would like to see her dress displayed. If enough people feel the same way I do, we may be able to get her included, even if later rather than sooner.

I also think this idea of a dress made out of guns is ridiculous. What a lame argument made by the staff member.

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They have a ban on cigarette advertising that has been in force for a while.

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That might explain the whole thing.

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That dress looks awesome! Clearly, a lot of work went into the project, I would have really enjoyed seeing something like that on display.

Seems that today, the definition of a "challenging" art piece has flipped upside-down. Perhaps if the artist sprinkled some period blood on it, and added a few dabs of fecal matter (and a photo of the Pope), the powers deciding what is and what is not worth seeing would deem the piece "transcendental and powerful." What a world.

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That would be something to have on display for a few weeks...and watch how it changed.

I agree the dress and workmanship are beautiful. I really got a Victorian/SteamPunk vibe from the artist.

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Will somebody think of the vegans!!!!

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Donald Trump, heroin and cigarettes? Perhaps MassArt chooses to avoid anything with addictive properties.

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Would find Trump to be addictive.

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It appears that the artist has come up against one more more folks with, ahem, delicate sensibilities at the school? So, let me see, MassArt does not want to offend...who? Ok, I am a non smoker and I have never been a smoker and I am not offended. And, then, using the "but what about the children" excuse? If an "artist" can do dog poo art, than this Artist should be able to display her colorful and well crafted dress made out of cig packs.

And here I thought some of the best art should be edgy and controversial along an expression of what moves the artist to create. It is a sad state of affairs when Art will be neutered under the thumb of absolute political correctness.

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So what if kids see it? That sounds like as good a time as any to talk about the pros and cons of smoking. I'm a bit biased and might be more likely to say there are no pros, but that's just me. It'd be cool if there were somewhere else to put this on display.

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The Project Runway panel would have doled out accolades for the excellent sewing. Better color combos could have been employed however. Still she followed the assignment and it fits well. I don't think Heidi Klum nor Nina Garcia would have voted her out like the kill joys over at Mass Art.

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