Monday, December 20, 2010

Censorship at the Smithsonian

Whether it is good or bad art, or whether I like it or not, is really beside the point. The point is whether we should accept work being censored. 

"Late in November the Smithsonian’s head, G. Wayne Clough", bowed to pressure  from a fringe group and  "ordered the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC to ‘remove’ a video by David Wojnarowicz from a museum show called Hide/Seek. "

An organization  was pulled together called Art Positive, in response to this kind of censorship.

Please visit here to read their full joint statement.
"Anybody is entitled to criticize an art show but First Amendment principles bar government officials from suppressing controversial viewpoints and imposing the values held by one religious group on society at large. The National Portrait Gallery cannot and should not tailor its programming to promote the views of certain interest groups at the expense of others. Taxpayer funds go to maintain a vibrant and diverse cultural sphere that serves all Americans not just Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or liberals, Christians or Jews. We may differ on cultural or social issues and argue about these issues - in the press, in public spaces, in galleries and performance spaces, but government officials cannot use financial leverage as a threat to silence those with whom they disagree. 

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