Haugar Vestfold Kunstmuseum

Norway’s Haugar Vestfold Art Museum has banned a performance of ‘Vagina Anthem’ by lesbian artists The Hungry Hearts on the grounds that celebrating female anatomy is offensive to people with penises.

The Hungry Hearts is an eight member all-lesbian musical art group which has performed for over a decade at venues such as The Museum of Contemporary Art, Bergen Kunsthall, the Norwegian Opera and Ballet. Their performances, video installations, music, photographs and texts have been featured at over 50 international film festivals.

The Hungry Hearts

The group has released a statement:

“Hungry Hearts has been censored by the very curator inviting us to participate with art works and a performance at Haugar Vestfold kunstmuseum. We are not allowed to perform our new work “Vagina Anthem” as the curator fears that trans persons might be offended by the lyrics. Therefore, we decline to perform at all at the opening of the exhibition the 27th of January. As a reminder, our purpose with “Vagina Anthem” is the following (from the press release):

“Vagina Anthem” is a tribute to women. Hungry Hearts’ new single is about women in front. It is also a comment on the massive intolerance and attacks women are exposed to for exercising freedom of speech. It is for women who support the # Metoo campaign and to those who have been able to report abuse. It is for those who makes an effort to fight the battle against female erasure and oppression. And all the unknown heroines who have fought for women’s liberation throughout history. “Vagina Anthem” is an angry-fight-song for support when the mob is at its worst and gives extra energy to continue the fight. It’s not over.”

 

This is a continuation of an ongoing worldwide campaign by individuals with penises to censor all public mention of female bodies and the female sex, such as in news reporting and apportionment of women’s quotas and allotments.

The campaign to make the female sex unspeakable has particularly targeted lesbian filmmakers, authors, artists, and performers, with increasingly violent crusades by penis owners to ban works which center female bodied people. In 2016, a US male who had previously travelled cross-country to protest a lesbian gathering on private land went on to murder a lesbian couple and their son by beating, stabbing, shooting, and burning them. In 2017, a group of men attacked and beat a sixty-year-old woman in Speakers Point at UK’s Hyde Park because she planned to attend a discussion against proposed changes to eliminate the legal definition of female sex.

Here is the censored work, ‘Vagina Anthem’ by The Hungry Hearts:

Ironically, the Haugar Vestfold Art Museum is perhaps best known for their long running permanent exhibition celebrating the graphic and brutally misogynist work of painter Odd Nerdrum.

‘Pissing Woman’ by Odd Nerdrum

Self Portrait: Odd Nerdrum