Tom Huisjes and Eline Reinhoud | The Parthenon of Books: Censorship through Blasphemy Laws

Written by on June 1st, 2019 // Filed under 32.1 Religion and Secularism

Abstract

This article analyses Marta Minujín’s Parthenon of Books as it was realised during the Documenta 14 exhibition in Kassel, Germany (2017). Many of the books used to construct the Parthenon were banned by religious institutions, which raises the question of the role of blasphemy laws and blasphemy-related censorship in today’s Western democracies, as such laws limit the freedom of expression as laid down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948). We analyse how Minujín’s artwork contributes to existing campaigns for the abolition of blasphemy laws, arguing that while its message is not limited to blasphemy-related censorship, its critical stance towards religious censorship is an undertone that cannot be denied.