Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Museum of Censored Art

I keep forgetting to post on this blog... One of my news years resolutions is to make my monthly post.

I am sure you all have heard about the uproar of the smithsonian and the removal of the David Wojnarowicz's A Fire on my Belly

If you haven't heard on October 30, 2010, the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery opened Hide/Seek, one of the first exhibitions of gay and lesbian art to appear in a major American museum. The exhibition caused no complaints from museum visitors, but did gain attention of unhappy anti-gay activists who wrongly portrayed the exhibit as Anti-Christian.

One work in particular that got the anti-gay activists going was a 4-minute video by David Wojnarowicz that criticizes society’s indifference toward AIDS. The video includes about 11 seconds of an ant-covered crucifix and this caused some upheaval from these anti-gay groups.

A good friend of mine, Mike Iacovone and his friend Mike Blasenstein protested the removal of the video and the censorship of art. Their protest was quiet. The gist of it goes like this : Iacovone filmed Blasenstein wearing an ipad around his neck showing A Fire in My Belly inside of the Hide/Seek exhibiton. Their protest came to a sudden end when security guards and police halted their statement.

The two Mikes have come back with an even bigger protest this time. They have rented a trailor through the closing of the show and have also rented two parking spaces outside of the museum. They have called this trailor the Museum of Censored Art, and they are parked on the 700 block of F Street NW outside of the southern entrance of the museum. Blasenstein, Iacovone and volunteers will work the trailer everyday from 11 am to 7 pm until the Hide/Seek exhibit closes on Feb. 13.

This whole situation raises really interesting questions and brings really interesting debates to the censorship of art.

To contact the Museum of Censored Art and learn more about the project visit

1 comment:

  1. i like this. it reminds me of the "salon de refuse". the original and the one that some friends and i made in college a long time ago after several good works were rejected from the student exhibition...including nuns and Reagan with stitched lips and homoerotic legs....