Wednesday, December 01, 2010

More Reactions, Non-Reactions To National Portrait Gallery Fiasco

I guess I'm a little surprised that this story isn't getting more attention. I suppose people think it's basically a rerun of the Robert Mapplethorpe, "NEA 7" and Andres Serrano flaps in the 1980s. But it's not the same because it's happening now. Most surprising and disappointing to me is the silence/lack of interest from several major gay blogs: Joemygod**, Pam's House Blend, This is Fyf, 365 Gay, Andrew Sullivan** (UPDATES: see below)? Not one word, and only brief mentions at Americablog and Towleroad. Very disappointing, indeed. However, there is some very good coverage elsewhere:

  • By far the best, most proactive, and actually reported, rather than merely reactive, coverage of the situation can be found at Tyler Green's frequently irksome but generally excellent Modern Art Notes, as well as an excellent review of the show.
  • The Blade has a thoughtful post on their blog.
  • So does Metro Weekly.
  • This is hilarious: Fox News claims that the Smithsonian "stands by controversial video," even while reporting that they yanked it from the show. That's a funny way of sticking up for it!
  • The NY Times features some feeble words from the museum's director. 
  • Horrible, useless art blogger CultureGrrl basically blames the NPG for having the show in the first place. Screw you, CultureGrrl.
  • The First Amendment Center blasts the NPG for cowardice. 

The best reaction, however, comes from DC's Transformer Gallery, who instantly acquired the video for display and plans to mount a protest at the NPG. Good for them. Ironically, you could view it on Fox Nation and Fox News' web site earlier today, but they've since taken it down, but you can see it here on the YouTubes. Oh, what the heck, go ahead and watch it right here:

**UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan finally wrote a very good piece about the show, and so did Joemygod.


John said...

I did not realize that the piece included Diamanda Galas performing "The Plague Mass." Clearly, that makes it too disturbing - she's reading from Leviticus. That's some scary shit & impressionable people should be kept far from it; exposure to Leviticus can warp someone for life.

More seriously, why are the ants anti-Christian? And why are they so obsessed with the ants that they missed the penis? It's just really weird.

Peteykins said...

I was lucky to see The Plague Mass performed live in Seattle, and it was simultaneously harrowing and exhilarating. It took me days to get over it.

John said...

I have never seen her perform live, sadly.

Matty Boy said...

Diamanda Galas. There's a name I haven't heard in a while.

I expected something where I could say "Yeah, I could see how they were offended, but it's supposed to be shocking."

Seriously, not that shocking. Not Mapplethorpe or Un Chien Andalou, which means tame by standards 30 years old or 80 years old.

Just another example of how easily the right wing gets themselves into a tizzy and how afraid non-right wingers are of them.

sfmike said...

I've just done my small bit towards spreading the news over at "Civic Center." Give them hell.

Christopher said...

For what it's worth. I'm furious. I've already fired off a nasty note to the NPG calling them on their cowardice and point out the irony of their actions. I'm livid. I plan to see the show, finally, on the 13th. (I'll be coming down from NYC.) Let's hope the whole thing is still there.

HonkIfYouDontLoveJesusExceptAsANightlight said...

Diamanda IS disturbing. Wonderful but disturbing. It was also disturbing that, when she toured with that Led Zeppelin guy, they did NOT play the Immigrant Song! what more appropriate LZ tune could there be? but some of her records STILL scare me so I have a little pity for the poor 'publicans.