Saturday, December 11, 2010

"Blasphemous" Exhibit at Smithsonian Topic of Discussion

The New York Times is reporting that next week the curators of the Smithsonian exhibition "Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture" will be discussing the recent decision to abruptly remove an exhibit that had been attacked as blasphemous by conservatives. The artwork, a video by David Wojnarowicz, depicts ants crawling on a crucifix and was apparently intended as commentary on the AIDs epidemic. The show's two curators, Jonathan Katz (who was against removal) and David Ward will discuss the controversy at a special panel hosted by the New York Public Library.

1 comment:

  1. I do respect the right of one to judge his own work as ART and as teaching, if he so desires, but such a person should not expect others or the public in general, to view and judge such as ART, conveying the 'message' the 'artist' felt he portrayed in the work. When the subject is an object of long-standing DEVOTION among people and COUNTRIES across the CIVILIZED WORLD as a PROFOUND RELIGIOUS symbol of ONE whom they hold to be GOD and it is portrayed in such a disrespectful and vulgar manner, it is only right that people be outraged, despite the affirmative vote of one of the Smithsonian Judges who may likely reject the and not hold the SUBJECT so betrayed, as part of his belief system. His vote screams as bordering on serious question of judgmental insensitivity to abject, defiant discrimination and despicable, repugnant prejudice. Such is enormously conflicted and the issue compounded in that PUBLIC MONET, including funds from millions those of those people who WORSHIP that GOD so portrayed were spent to pay for such a display which so many, compellingly, judged to be BLASPHEMOUS. One can only wonder what would be the consequence were the artist to have so portrayed MOHAMMED in such an offensive manner and conjecture that not only the artist but the very SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTE could be the object of unconscionable violence and total destruction by radical terrorists. I guess the only lesson to have been discerned may be, despite the tens of millions of AMERICANS whose FAITH was so disrespectfully portrayed have proven to be so tolerant and assuredly NOT so inclined to resort to terrorist retaliation when so offended.

    Jim Girzone
    TROY, New YORK