Thursday, December 02, 2010

Blood In The Water: Curator Responds To National Portrait Gallery Censorship

Ah, I've been waiting for this. Jonathan D. Katz, co-curator of the National Portrait Gallery's Hide/Seek exhibition, has responded to the Smithsonian's capitulation to the GOP and the religious right. His statement includes email addresses to which you may send your concerns. One note: in my opinion, the NPG should be congratulated for putting on the excellent, brave show in the first place, so perhaps that would be a good thing to include as well. Here is Dr. Katz' statement (via The Stranger):

Dear Colleagues,
The Christian Right has attacked my Hide/Seek exhibition and fearing that the whole show would be closed by Republicans in Congress, the Director tossed the fascists a bone and removed a David Wojnarowicz video. See We are effectively back in the dark days of 1989 when the Mapplethorpe exhibition was censored. This a dangerous precedent and flies in the face of everything the exhibition was structured to overturn. Once the newly ascendant right tastes blood in the water—and now thanks to the Smithsonian they have—we will all be targets. Please write to express your displeasure to Wayne Clough, the Secretary of the Smithsonian, at, to Richard Kurin the undersecretary for the arts and humanities at and to the director of the museum Martin Sullivan at
As the judge who ruled against Rudy Giuliani in the Brooklyn Museum case put it:
"There is no federal constitutional issue more grave than the effort by government officials to censor works of expression and to threaten the vitality of a major cultural institution as punishment for failing to abide by governmental demands for orthodoxy.''

Jonathan D. Katz
Director, Visual Studies Doctoral Program
University at Buffalo

(Image via Animal Planet)


Matty Boy said...

Here is a pet peeve of mine. Allegedly, political correctness is a sin exclusively practiced by the left, but this is the same if not worse, since actual political pressure is being put on people to censor their voices.

The voice being silenced is a man dead nearly twenty years and the point of the video is the voices being silenced in his lifetime for speaking out about the plague that killed him.

Peteykins is right. The real outrage is that this is still happening in 2010.

HRH King Friday XIII, Ret. said...

Don't Tread On Me!*

Unless its something that hurts my feelings like a 10 second video of ants crawling on a stabbed, thorn-wearing, bloody dying, and CRUCIFIED Jeebus.

davedave said...

Yesterday I was on and there were a bunch of links to stories about football players and coaches. The little photgraph above each link was supposed to be a picture of Dan Reeves, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, etc., but someone had hacked in and replaced them all with pictures of the ant-covered cross from "A Fire in My Belly". Wish I had done a screen grab. It was awesome.

Comrade PhysioProf said...

Good for Katz. These fucken right-wing scum rant and rave about TYRANNY, and then pull shitte like this. Fucken despicable slime.