Erotic gay genital art banned by New Zealand college

Student 'gutted' after college orders him to remove link to pornographic images on his final year project

Erotic gay genital art banned by New Zealand college
19 December 2012

A gay student artist in New Zealand is furious after his erotic art work was banned by his university.

Alex Ouston’s final year project at the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology featured wine bottles draped in decorative items of clothing.

A QR code then directed people to a website featuring pictures of men wearing the exotic trimmings on their genitals.

However, his college was less than impressed with the ‘pornographic’ installation which the 37-year-old claims shows ‘happy men out of the closet’, ordering him to remove the internet link and any mention of the Institute.

‘I was a bit gutted. They [the adornments] looked really good, and the labelled bottles added greatly to the reading of my art. It just proves how prudish people are about nudity and sexuality,’ Ouston told the Nelson Mail.

He added that the college needed to find better ways of allowing students to express themselves using explicit subject matters.

‘Even in my first year I did a naked photo montage of myself as a project. It was addressing identity – how I see myself as masculine or feminine,’ he said.

He added: ‘I guess I feel a bit short-changed. It’s like they’re saying they don’t want their name on the project, yet, hello? I’m a student of NMIT. I thought it was an adult education learning environment. Boundaries have to shift in order for culture to grow and survive.

‘I’m pretty sure that other art institutions have shown more graphic, violent, sexual and taboo works than NMIT could ever consider showing. Why should Nelson be any different to Wellington, Auckland, New York or Sydney?’

NMIT community support and service industries group manager Chris Hubbard told the Mail their decision was more to do with health and safety reasons rather than content.

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