Tyler Green
Art-focused Journalism by Tyler Green

Tyler Green Modern Art Notes

Give David Wojnarowicz his voice back

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Washington’s Transformer Gallery is off to a good start in its efforts to give David Wojnarowicz his voice back after Smithsonian Secretary G. Wayne Clough ordered the removal of Wojnarowicz’s A Fire in My Belly (1987) from an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. Let’s do more.

PPOW Gallery has made available Wojnarowicz’s Untitled (One day this kid…) to anyone who wants to print it out. So do so. Install it in your local art museum to protest Clough’s censorship of his museum. Install it at the American Association of Museums to express outrage at their weak-kneed, embarrassing support of censorship. Install it at the offices of Reps. John Boehner and Eric Cantor, whose ridiculous responses to a show they hadn’t seen fueled the fire. (Install it in their Washington and district offices.) Hang it in the National Portrait Gallery. Hang it at Fox News. Install it at your booth in your Miami art fair. Take pictures and post links to them in the comments here or tweet me. Help give David Wojnarowicz his voice back.

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  1. […] p.s. Another mighty fine link for those who care about this issue: Tyler Green on artinfo.com […]

  2. Danee says:

    Hi Mr. Green,
    Thank you for posting often about this controversy. The PPOW is not far from where I live and I feel inclined to go in person and thank them for this effort.
    Maybe I’m naive but I’m surprised at the AAM’s backing of this censorship. And just to throw my two cents out there- I’m a tax-payer and I don’t want my tax money going to museums/galleries that support such censorship and a blatant disregard for Freedom of Speech/Freedom of Expression. What I’m saying is- I think the argument that because tax-payers’ money supports this exhibit being grounds for removal is weak. Many people that pay taxes want to see the exhibit and keep our freedom of speech intact.

  3. CG says:

    The thing that gets me about this whole controversy is that while this is the first censorship we’re seeing out in the open since the mid-1990s, in the mean time there’s been plenty of self-censorship. Out of fear of reprisals from Congress, the Smithsonian has been incredibly cautious with its exhibitions. Every single label gets vetted by PR people. Have people noticed that when American History was renovated, the Japanese internment show didn’t reopen? That the shows on climate change at Natural History don’t mention human causes for global warming? We should be applauding NPG for even taking the risk of doing this show in the current political climate.

  4. WRS says:

    Just wrote a letter to Clough and to my senator who is on the Board of Regents for the Smithsonian. Thanks for your outrage on this issue. Wojnarowicz censored on World Aids Day. Bitter irony, indeed.

  5. Rob Weiner says:

    Thanks for this, Tyler.

  6. […] started with Jerry Saltz’s note that he posted on his Facebook page.  Then the Tyler Green piece on ArtInfo.  Then Blake Gopnik’s article in The Washington Post.  Which led me to this post […]

  7. […] 10 and all 10 have been sold, including five to museums — so the IMA is essentially taking up MAN’s suggestion to print out a poster of the work from this special PPOW site and to install it. Here’s […]

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