Viennese museums create OnlyFans account after TikTok nudity ban

As part of their ‘Vienna laid bare’ campaign a collection of museums have started an OnlyFans account to post nude artworks.

Vienna has a history of housing some of the art world’s most progressive figures who are recognised for pushing the boundaries of what was considered socially acceptable. It’s no surprise, therefore, that many have fallen prey to prudish censoring.

In the age of social media, this represents just another form of censorship…and quite a bizarre one at that.

Image: VICE

The initiative, ‘Vienna laid bare’, was launched by Vienna’s tourism board late last week in conjunction with an OnlyFans account. This comes amidst the banning of a number of Viennese museums from TikTok for posting “lewd” content.

In a recent press release, Vienna’s tourism board wrote, “Vienna and its art institutions are among the casualties of this new wave of prudishness – with nude statues and famous artworks blacklisted under social media guidelines, and repeat offenders even finding their accounts temporarily suspended,” concluding, “That’s why we decided to put the capital’s world-famous ‘explicit’ artworks on OnlyFans.”

The TikTok account of the Albertina Museum was banned in July for posting photographs by Japanese artist Nobuyoshi Araki depicting obscured breasts.

Whilst frustrating, and generally concerning for our society, Vienna’s tourism board clearly locates a sense of comedy in the matter, toying ironically with the concept of fine art as a form of pornography in their promotion video. In it, they tease “want to see what the hand is squeezing here.

There is a general sense of astonishment amongst both the Flemish and Viennese tourism boards surrounding this matter, and with good reason. We are witnessing a set of bans placed on content, which was once shocking and provocative, that today seems shockingly prudish and conservative.

Helena Hartlauer, a spokesperson for the Vienna tourism board, said “Part of what makes this problematic is that there are no clear guidelines on these platforms, nor rhyme or reason, in regards to what nudity is considered ‘offensive’ and what nudity is not,”

Helena Hartlauer. Image: Whitewall: Art

She continues, “We’ve had 3,000-year-old works of art be censored. Clearly there is something wrong here.”

The bans, and lack of clarity surrounding them, stimulate extra concern given that social media platforms are major sites for artists to promote their works.

The ‘Vienna laid bare’ OnlyFans site contains works by artists such as Egon Schiele, an Austrian Expressionist painter, and Koloman Moser, a twentieth-century graphic artist.