At the beginning of the month, new media artist Chris Silva charged that his work featuring a Peugeot race-car had been censored during the Mercedes-Benz-sponsored “Transmission LA” exhibition curated by the Beastie Boys‘ Mike D at Los Angeles’s Museum of Contemporary Art for fear that it would undermine the show’s corporate sponsor. Now Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) has issued a statement explaining the event.
An email to ARTINFO from a representative of MBUSA addressed the events at the MOCA show thusly:
The Transmission LA: AV Club exhibit was very successful and over 30,000 people attended over the 17 day period. After reading your story, we “MBUSA” looked into the matter. The facts are a third party agency working on the event did not have the authority to ask Mr. Silva to remove his art and this person never actually spoke to MBUSA on-site regarding the matter — they in fact expressed a POV that was not true or ever said by someone from Mercedes-Benz USA.
The actions of this individual was wrong and counter to Transmission LA: AV Club theme, which was a great expression of creative collaboration of artists and MOCA.
Mr. Silva was in touch with Jeffrey Deitch concerning the matter and the above was explained to Mr. Silva via email a few weeks ago with an apology.
We wonder whether an artist presenting Renault-themed art at a Volkswagen-sponsored MoMA exhibition would receive such a thorough response and apology.
— Benjamin Sutton