Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Gallery censored by landlord in Lafayette, LA

You have to take down the nude pictures you have in your gallery. Part of the agreement to rent you the space was to not display nude pictures.
So begins the email received by artist Nicole Touchet, an email "signed by a project coordinator with Property One Inc., the company that manages Gordon Square, the historic hotel-turned-office complex at the Jefferson-Vermilion intersection in the heart of Downtown. The UL Lafayette alumna had opened her eponymous gallery, Gallerie Touchet, in a small side space facing Vermilion Street 11 months before, hosting exhibitions of up-and-coming local artists including her own work."

Many times in the past I have taken the side of "he who owns the walls" when these sort of issues come out.

However, in this case, as this article points out, the "condition" (No. 5 on Touchet’s lease with Property One) doesn't say anything about nudes, unless Property One thinks that Touchet's loosely painted nudes are so hot that they'd cause a fire:

Lessee warrants and represents to Lessor that the Leased Premises exclusive of common area shall be continually used and occupied only for the purpose of general office use. Lessee shall conduct its business and control its agents, employees, invitees and visitors in such a manner as is lawful, reputable and will not cause any nuisance or otherwise interfere with, annoy or disturb any other tenant in its normal business operations or Lessor in its management of the Building. Lessee shall not commit or suffer to be committed, any waste on the Leased Premises, nor shall Lessee permit the Leased Premises to be used in any way which would, in the opinion of Lessor, be hazardous on account of fire or otherwise which would in any way increase or render void the fire insurance on the Leased Premises or Building.
A lawyer might say that the lease says that the space will be "used and occupied only for the purpose of general office use," but then again, Touchet had used the space as a gallery for 11 months and Property One didn't complain.

In any event, she plans to close the gallery (her lease is up), but I wanted the prudes at Property One know that their ignorant, outdated, and assholish actions have been been heard in the nation's capital region and will forever be part of their footprint in Al Gore's Internet for now on.