Thursday, July 2, 2009


Deni Junaedi, RUU APP (The Bill of Pornography), 2008, water color on paper, 51x74cm
Édouard Manet, Olympia, 1863, oil on canvas, 130 x 160 cm

My Painting Bill of Pornography (2008) is parody of Édouard Manet’s Olympia (1863), and Manet adapted from Titian’s Venus of Urbino (1538).

During the 1860s, Édouard Manet (1832-83) was France’s most notorious artist. Two years after the furor that surrounded his Le Déjeuner sur L’Herbe, he scandalized the public one again by exhibiting the provocative Olympia. In both picture, Manet was reinventing an Old Master painting, translating it into a modern idiom. In doing so, he was well aware that he was crossing the boundaries of contemporary taste. So, when Olympia was shown at the Salon of 1865, the model was derided as ”a female gorilla” and ”the Queen of Spades stepping out of the bath.” The controversy stemmed from nineteent-century attitude to the nude. Here, the problem lay not in the nakedness of the model, but in its context. Manet’s source, for example, was a famous Renaissance painting, the Venus of Urbino (1538) by Titian, which was deemed perfectly respectable. Similarly, many nineteenth-century artists were able to exhibit highly erotic picture of Venus or Diana without censure. Provided that the subject was presented as a classical goddess or nymph, however thin the disguise, nudity was not an issue. Manet’s picture was shocking, because the nude was modern. As a result, many critics interpreted her as prostitute. Worst still, her direct gaze placed the spectator in the role of the prostitute’s client. Manet did nothing to counter this interpretation. The women is wearing a single slipper, which was a conventional symbol for loss of innocence, while the orchid in her hair was believed to have the qualities of an aphrodisiac. (437)

In Europe that was identified by liberalization has pornography problem, so in Indonesia that was identified by religious soul is naturally on disagreeable condition to publicity pornography. That problem encouraged some members of Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat (DPR), Indonesian senat, to propose the Bill of Pornography. This bill caused controversy in society. Some people support it and others rejected that Bill.

My Painting The Bill of Pornography or RUU APP (Rancangan Undang-Undang Anti Pornografi dan Pornoaksi) is my initiative to solve the problem. I covered Olympia by the batik (Indonesian traditional cloth).

Édouard Manet, Olympia, 1863, oil on canvas, 130 x 160 cm

Titian, Venus of Urbino, 1538, oil on canvas, 119 x 165 cm