Decision to censor video draws flak

Decision to censor video draws flak

The Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) has issued a strongly worded rebuke to the Smithsonian Institution and the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC, for censoring a video by David Wojnarowicz in the critically acclaimed exhibition Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture, reports Christopher Knight for the Los Angeles Times.
The video, A Fire in My Belly, is a searing meditation on aspects of the AIDS pandemic and the decision to remove it came in the wake of calls by the House speaker-designate John Boehner and incoming majority leader Eric Cantor to dismantle the privately funded exhibition.
The AMMD statement described the Smithsonian's decision as having resulted from political pressure.
“More disturbing than the Smithsonian's decision to remove this work is the cause: unwarranted and uninformed censorship from politicians and other public figures, many of whom, by their own admission, have seen neither the exhibition as a whole or this specific work. The AAMD believes that freedom of expression is essential to the health and welfare of our communities and our nation. In this case, that takes the form of the rights and opportunities of our art museums to present works of art that express different points of view.”
Image: video still from David Wojnarowicz's video A Fire in My Belly