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Smithsonian Gay Bashing

By Charlotte Robinson, December 16, 2010
Controversy continues over the action 2 weeks ago by the National
Portrait Gallery which removed a 4 minute video by the late artist
David Wojnarowicz from an exhibit on sexual difference in American
portraiture. The video titled A Fire in My Belly was removed from the
Hide/Seek: Difference & Desire in American Portraiture exhibit after
strong protests from Catholic League president William Donahue &
the office of incoming House Speaker John Boehner over a portrayal
in it of a small crucifix covered with ants. Donahue called it "hate
speech." Last Thursday, the Washington Post reported that James T.
Bartlett, a member of the Museum's advisory panel, resigned over the
decision to remove the video. Now The Andy Warhol Foundation on
Monday threatened to end funding to the Smithsonian Institution
unless it restores a piece of controversial video art that was pulled
from a National Portrait Gallery exhibition. Updates to Come…:)
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1 comment:

Frank Rich said...

Gay artist David Wojnarowicz's artwork wasn’t taken down because it offended Christians—that was just a perfunctory cover for the homophobia actually driving the complaint of a right-wing activist. Even in a time of huge progress in gay civil rights, homophobia remains among the last permissible bigotries in America.The Smithsonian’s behavior and the ensuing silence in official Washington are jarring echoes of those days when American political leaders stood by idly amid an AIDS epidemic—and a throwback to the culture wars we thought we were getting past now. Instead, it still seems an unwritten rule in establishment Washington that homophobia is at most a misdemeanor. America’s signature cultural institution” can still be easily bullied by bigots.

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