Artworld to Smithsonian: Drop dead. | Rock Candy

Monday, December 20, 2010

Artworld to Smithsonian: Drop dead.

Posted By on Mon, Dec 20, 2010 at 2:12 PM

Calders Baker: Not going to Smithsonian. Courtesy Calder Foundation.
  • Calder's Baker: Not going to Smithsonian. Courtesy Calder Foundation.

The Smithsonian continues to catch hell over its decision to pull a video of an ant-covered crucifix from the National Gallery's “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture," as artists and a foundation are asking the institution to return to them works of art.

The Smithsonian removed the late David Wojnarowicz's video after buckling under complaints by Republicans and the Catholic Church (the exhibit is about homosexuality, which makes the censorship even weirder).

The New York Times reported last week that artist AA Bronson asked that his work be pulled from the National Gallery exhibit, photographer Michael Katakis has asked the gallery to return his photo of Maya Linn he donated 20 years ago, and the Calder Foundation is withdrawing an artwork it had agreed to lend to the gallery for an upcoming Calder show. In its letter withdrawing the Calder, the foundation wrote:

"As it is clear that the Smithsonian wishes to appease a fringe audience, it seems appropriate that we remove from the exhibition Aztec Josephine Baker which is surely a most provocative work depicting a nude, African-American woman.”

The Tate Gallery in London is showing the banned video.

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