School of Theatre director Jim Petosa passed this article on to me. It seems there is an attempt to politicize photographic portraits of Americans of varying sexual and gender expressions in the Smithsonian show, Hide and Seek.
According to the article, a video by artist David Wojnarowicz on his male lover’s death from AIDS, included a scene with ants crawling over a crucifix. The video, A Fire in My Belly, was pulled from the show after complaints from Catholic League president Bill Donahue who called it “offensive.”
An official in incoming House Speaker John Boehner’s office told The Hill newspaper that “Smithsonian officials should either acknowledge the mistake or be prepared to face tough scrutiny beginning in January.”
It seems entirely possible that the overall theme of the show is an underlying reason for the criticism it has received.
Like truth, art challenges and disturbs precisely because it submits to no political agenda or comfortable preconception. At best, art has an adversarial relationship with comfort.
The art world must be a place for everyone with something of worth to say. Sexual orientation and gender expression are not inherently political but are human characteristics. They are “issues” only for those whose political purposes come before the needs of the very people they purport to serve.
Read the full article here including a slide show of some of the works: