Homophobic and racist graffiti that has covered the walls and doors of a public toilet at Cockatoo Island in Sydney is to be removed following a complaint by Bruce Thompson, a former RailCorp train guard, according to SX News.
The graffiti came to the public’s attention in July when it was displayed as an artwork, a “found object,” by artist Vernon Ah Kee in the Sydney Bieniale:
“The graffiti railed against gay ‘cocksuckers’ and ‘arselickers’, and Italian and Greek migrants. Queensland artist Ah Kee was reportedly making a statement about his experience of prejudice as a man of Aboriginal and Chinese descent. A complaint about Ah Kee’s work was then made by Thompson, who said: ‘I don’t believe that offensive statements are art. I just think they’re offensive.’ While Biennale management stood behind Ah Kee, the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust has now written to Mr Thompson committing to removing the graffiti.”
Said Thompson, who is currently in a legal battle with his former employer over similar graffiti at his former workplace: “It’s a victory for gay men and so-called ‘wogs’ who were psychologically harmed by the graffiti more than two decades ago. I know what they would have gone through because of what happened to me at RailCorp.”
Homophobic graffiti to be removed [sx news]