Censorship Public Art

Washington DC museum makes news it does not want. The Smithsonian Institution’s Chief decides to take out a video from the National Portrait Gallery’s Hide and Seek Exhibition.

The offending piece of art is David Wojnarowicz’s video, “A Fire In My Belly.” The artist, who died of AIDS in 1992, included a scene with ants crawling over a crucifix. Some subsection of visitors thought the imagery sacrilegious despite the fact that artists have long used imagery of Christ symbols to make arguments.

Last night, I joined a group of 100 people, who marched 15 blocks from a gallery down to the museum. We held signs and walked quietly. I spoke to a few of the interested people we saw on the sidewalks. We reached the steps of the museum and stood their for half and hour. Over 20 media outlets took video and snapped photos. A few interviewed the organizers. It felt great!

The removal of the video made by a man who died of AIDS near the World AIDS Day is too ironic for words.


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