Thursday, January 1, 2015

Use of Greek script judged “racist”, “sinister”, “anti-Palestinian". Only in Australia.

View of exhibition Humanist Transhumanist 2009
View of exhibition "Humanist Transhumanist" 2009
A Supreme Court of Victoria judgement released in June 2014 endorsed the racist claims made by plaintiff Robert Cripps.

In the trial it was declared that “text labels, 50x100mm pinned below each painting” included words in an “alternate script” to that of the “English alphabet” (sic), making it possible to reasonably conclude that the text potentially communicated “anti-Palestinian”, “sinister” and “racist” messages.

It was argued, by Cripps’ council, Christopher Dibb, that because Cripps was not of Greek background he could not properly interpret or understand what was written on these "text panels". The only conclusion, that was available to Cripps, was for him to deduce that the use of Greek script was potentially “sinister, racist and anti-Palestinian”. Under examination Cripps could not explain how this was so in his testimony.

Justice Kyrou, in his judgement, found this was the reasonable conclusion to make and that Cripps had responded reasonably with the actions that he took. In doing so Kyrou has:

1. Validated perjury.

- No labels were pinned under the paintings. This was demonstrated by the evidence provided in trial which included photographs taken prior to the dislcaimers that Cripps posted. Cripps had testified that he posted disclaimers as a reaction to labels which are clearly absent in the photographs. Emails and documents cataloguing the exhibition content reveal that the photographs of the exhibition match what was discussed with the gallery prior to the show. The evidence demonstrated there were small numbers pinned under the paintings to reference against a gallery catalogue of works list for all viewers to consult, just as had been discussed in the emails between the artists and the gallery. The evidence and the facts they conveyed were all dismissed by Justice Kyrou.
2. Validated and up-held racism towards an Australian-born artist of Greek heritage. 
- In finding it reasonable for Cripps to have concluded what he did and taken the actions he did because of the presence of an alternate script to English (sic), Greek, Justice Kyrou agreed it could be considered to convey sinister, or racist, or anti-Palestinian messages to use Greek words. A finding that is in direct contravention to S. 9. of the Race Discrimination Act.

The Australian-born Greek artist, Demetrios Vakras, has for many years signed his paintings in Greek and as part of his artistic oeuvre long sought to elaborate on the ancient scientific and cosmological meaning behind many Greek myths. In doing so he is manifesting his heritage, a protected attribute under the Race Discrimination Act, (S. 9).

In Humanist Transhumanist there were a handful of Greek words used in context of two paintings with essays pinned beside the associated paintings on A4 size paper (No 50x100 labels under paintings ever existed). These Greek words were methodically translated into Latin text for an English speaking audience to comprehend. The context of these essays was to elaborate on the meaning of the visuals in which the artist anthropomorphised myth-concepts to reveal a holistic, cosmological explanation exists behind Greek myth pertaining to, for example, the Pythia (the Oracle of Delphi) depicted resting between, χαός (chaos) and χασμός (chasm), in another Χριστός (Christ) is referenced as is σοφία, (wisdom). It is therefore these Greek words that Justice Kyrou found in his judgement to be potentially “sinister", “racist" and "anti-Palestinian” in agreement with the plaintiff.

Justice Kyrou, in his judgment, also concluded the art and exhibition to be “offensive”.

On much Justice Kyrou and Robert Cripps were in agreement.

Justice Kyrou awarded record financial damages against the artist Demetrios Vakras and co-Exhibitor (this author).

If the absurdity of the claim that the use of Greek text could be considered in any way to convey a sinister message is unclear refer to any Wikipedia entry on χαός (chaos). Is this sinister, anti-Palestinian and racist?
Then compare it to the actual text from the exhibition in question, "Humanist Transhumanist". Is this sinister, anti-Palestinian and racist?
Pages 30-31 Humanist Transhumanist Catalogue.

The author has used Greek words in this posting. Is this sinister, anti-Palestinian and racist?

If one is sinister, anti-Palestinian, racist, then they all are. Or, is it only the case when a Greek does so?

It is valid and correct to ask why is this judgement is not considered one of the biggest failures of the Australian Court System? Do the courts have more rights than the people they exist to serve?

If this is the Australian justice system working then it is as unjust and backward as any one can imagine produced under totalitarian regimes and Australians who claim to advocate for our human rights or to “keep the bastards honest” are silent. 

The matter of Cripps discriminatory actions against Demetrios Vakras is being pursued in the Federal Court.

Refer Justice Emilios Kyrou Judgement [on Austlii]
Refer Justice Emilios Kyrou Press Release - alerting the media of his judgement [Supreme Court of Victoria website]
Refer Cripps V Vakras & Annor - full Trial Transcripts [Link]

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About Leeanneart

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Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
We are first and foremost human with a responsibility to the humanity within us and not to any faith, political, apolitical, social or societal group, union or faction. We are responsible for our own reputation, and for what deeds we do and what achievements or otherwise in life we enjoy. The rest is nonsense.