Gather: Metropolitan Museum
March: to the Cooper-Hewitt, a Smithsonian Institution!
PLEASE SHARE AND REPOST WIDELY!
The prosecutions of libraries, bookstores and museums have become a popular response to artistic expression that some Americans find offensive. Censorship harms all groups working for social change by silencing (making invisible) information (words, ideas, images) pertaining to or from those people already effected by legislated morality. Censoring disagreeable ideas will not make the disagreeable realities go away, but distracts people’s attention from addressing the real causes of social ills.
On December 1st, David Wojnarowicz’s video “A Fire in my Belly” was pulled from an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture. Hide/Seek is a groundbreaking exhibition, one of the first to celebrate GLBT artists, their images, and their relationships in a major institution. After a single protest, from a small Catholic-based right wing organization, and under the threat of cuts to cultural funding by Representatives John Boehner and Eric Cantor, the Smithsonian Institution decided to pull the video. There was no dialogue, no debate. As it was in the culture wars of 1980’s, Wojnarowicz’s work was mischaracterized, this time as an attack on the Catholic Church, and used as to elicit support for anti-gay sentiment and cuts to social, cultural, and educational funding.