Monday, December 13, 2010

Stop the Censorship - NYC Protest Info

Please forward and re-post this message widely.

Stop the Censorship
Put the Wojnarowicz video back!
Protest in New York City
Sunday, December 19th
1:00 PM (details below)

Send a message to the Smithsonian Institution and all of its museums: Stop the censorship!

Late in November the Smithsonian's head, G. Wayne Clough, did something unconscionable and shocking—he ordered the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC to 'remove' a video by David Wojnarowicz from a museum show called Hide/Seek.

A month into the show's run, Clough capitulated to the complaints of right-wing politicians and an anti-gay religious group, and yanked the four-minute piece titled "A Fire in My Belly."

A New York Times editorial assailed the Smithsonian's "appalling act of political cowardice." And columnist Frank Rich point’s out: “The Smithsonian’s behavior and the ensuing silence in official Washington are jarring echoes of those days when American political leaders stood by idly as the AIDS epidemic raged on.”

Is this any way to run a museum? Have we forgotten, as a nation, how silence in the face of bigotry can lead to catastrophic death and suffering? Demand that the video be reinstalled now.

The Hide/Seek show is an important, groundbreaking exhibit about sexual identity and we urge you to see what's still on display.

When he died in 1992, Wojnarowicz, an artist and writer with AIDS, left a body of work about the disease that remains unrivaled for its power and beauty.

Demand the video be reinstalled now so the public can see the exhibition as the curators intended.

Stand up for free expression, for art that challenges and even pushes our buttons.

Protest Sunday, December 19 at 1 PM in New York City and take collective action for free expression.

Sunday December 19, 1:00 PM

GATHER on the Metropolitan Museum steps
FIFTH Ave & 82nd Street

Then MARCH to the Cooper-Hewitt/Smithsonian
FIFTH Ave & 91st Street

Wear your free expression best and be part of the message.

Art+ is a New York City-based art action group—fighting censorship and homophobia.