Artist gives talk at Kirkwood

BY DI STAFF | FEBRUARY 25, 2015 5:00 AM

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On Tuesday afternoon, Serhat Tanyolacar gave a speech and answered questions at Kirkwood Community College, 1816 Lower Muscatine Rd.

In a copy of the speech obtained by The Daily Iowan, Tanyolacar had harsh words for the University of Iowa and its reaction to the art.

“Both in Tom Rocklin’s and President Mason’s official statements, the University of Iowa has effectively announced that my artwork is not protected by the First Amendment due to the discomfort it caused to some of those who experienced it,” he said during the speech.

Tanyolacar said this would both the first and final time he would discuss the statue in public.

He said during the panel he thinks artists have a responsibility to raise awareness on social issues such as racial tension.

The statue is a KKK figure with a robe made of newspaper clippings of racial tension around the United States.

Controversy surrounded the public art display when it was unveiled last December. Many students said the piece was offensive and that they felt terrorized.

The statue was taken down from the Pentacrest, with the UI citing time, place, and manner restrictions, saying the space requires an application for any display.

The speech took place during a panel called “Fear of Art” where he and other community members held a discussion on controversy and public space.

— by Nick Moffitt and Chris Higgins

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