are some things that cannot be discussed in public space, even in a
free and open society. While severe censorship is a main feature of despotism, in a democracy it is
not so much rare as simply hidden.
This sculpture has never been seen by anyone other than myself, but has been shrouded since its creation in 1988. Every time I am offered an exhibition I ask if I can unveil the sculpture in public with the understanding that if the exhibitor wants to then remove the sculpture, I will immediately take it away. Every time I have been turned down. No institution so far has had the courage to allow me to speak a secret on their turf, even though I take full responsibility for the message! The fact that my work is so "respectable" only worsens the insult.
This is itself an indicator of the level of secret censorship in the US. There are lots of varieties of censorship, all of them more or less hidden, many of which I have personal experience with. So when we speak of our democracy as a "free and open society", we must realize that the phrase is merely relative.