EActually, it is people who undress on the Onlyfans platform. Now a city has also registered there. “Do you like to see Vienna bared?” Asks the city’s tourist association “Wien Tourismus”, promoting visitors to visit the city. Because the Viennese museums are open again – and with them their most popular exhibits can also be seen: the nudes of his most famous artists.
But that’s one thing with nudes: their freedom of movement is often erotically charged. And even if it is not pornography and it still depends on how you perceive what is depicted, the works have often been censored by social media platforms.
But not only in the time in which they were created – we also know the problem from the recent past, says Isabella Rauter from the Vienna Tourist Board. The Viennese museums have repeatedly had problems in recent years using nudes from Viennese Modernism to advertise their exhibitions on social media: In the Austrian commemorative year 2018, the city also wanted to use posters to advertise its art museums internationally. But Facebook deleted the pictures. In the same year, the case of Venus von Willendorf attracted a lot of attention: the photo of the 25,000-year-old figure, the pride of the Natural History Museum, was classified as pornographic by Facebook and removed. A year later, the Albertina Museum first had to convince an Instagram manager that it was art for an exhibition on “Rubens to Makart”.
Not much has changed
There were then lively debates about guidelines and artistic freedom. Since then, according to Rauter, not much has changed: The Leopold Museum has not been able to advertise this year’s anniversary with Koloman Moser’s lovers. And the Tiktok profile of the Albertina Museum was blocked completely: a naked female breast was visible in the work of the Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki. The museum had to create and curate a new account.
In order to be able to show which supposedly suggestive exhibits they are exhibiting, the Albertina and the Leopold Museum have teamed up with the Museum of Art and Natural History in Vienna and compiled the deleted works of art, which are now curated by the tourism agency on Onlyfans. For a subscription you get a museum ticket – but you have to be of legal age to register with Onlyfans.
Does it change anything to have such an account? “You can at least show these nudes on Onlyfans without any problems,” says Rauter. The automated deletions of the other platforms against which one wants to proceed like this are grueling: “Basically, an algorithm deletes the images if it detects too much skin and thus supposedly erotic content. Then the opposite has to be proven. So you can react – but it’s difficult and tedious. “
The profile is less about finding a place for “censored works”. The number of fans is manageable. Rather, they are trying to do justice to the city’s cultural history: “Many visitors come here for the music, the art and the museums. We don’t see why the nudes of Viennese Modernism and important sculptures in museums can’t be shown. “
The Onlyfans account is also intended to draw attention to how much power social media exerts over art. “One wonders why the platforms even have the right to delete art,” says Isabella Rauter. This also applies to Onlyfans themselves: In order to win over investors, the platform finally announced in August of this year that it wanted to ban explicit things. In the end, however, the platform stuck to its old, very lucrative business model. The city of Vienna also has to give up 20 percent of its income. We can only guess whether the explicit pictures by Egon Schiele from the Leopold Museum would have been problematic for the platform.
In the collection that the museums have now made available, at least “works across art history and the museum landscape” are now represented, according to Rauter: Amedeo Modigliani’s “The Young Woman in a Shirt” from 1918. Peter Paul Rubens’ Nude by his wife Hélène Fourment from 1640, which the Kunsthistorisches Museum contributed to. Or contemporary works by the Austrian artist Valie Export, which can otherwise be seen in the Albertina. In addition to the well-known female nudes, male bodies can also be seen. These are mainly older works such as the Egyptian figurine of the kneeling, naked man with an erect phallus, or a Hercules from the antique collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum.
Will the nudes no longer be shown on the other platforms for the time being? “Not the special pictures at first, no,” says Rauter. “We were able to fight for Venus and an act by Modigliani to stay after we were able to credibly demonstrate that it was art. But that is quite time-consuming for each picture. ”In addition,“ Wien Tourismus ”is no longer allowed to refer to its website – as there is a link to Onlyfans.
The Onlyfans account should only be active this month. The images will be allowed to stand for what they are: art on a pornographic platform.