An art piece that sparked controversy and debate at the Ontario College of Art and Design University in Toronto and was taken down Monday night amid the brouhaha has been re-installed.
The piece is a green Islamic prayer mat with a female nude in black outlined over it and was in an annual juried student show called Festival of the Body.
The school’s Muslim Student Association had complained about the piece, but it went back up Thursday.
“While the piece may be offensive to some, the curators and jury of the exhibition support artistic freedom…,” a notice from OCADU vice-provost Deanne Fisher and Vlad Spicanovic, the faculty of art dean, said.
Now that the artist, who remains anonymous, has written an “artist’s statement” about the work, there is “further context” to the work.
In her statement, the artist, who is a Muslim woman, says in part that she wanted viewers to remove their preconceived notions and look at the piece by asking, “If the body was created halal (permissible) when did we make it haram (forbidden)?”