Friday, December 3, 2010

Update: Smithsonian exhibit

As more information comes in about the art work by pulled from the exhibit, it becomes apparent to me that some of our republican and religious leaders need to take an art appreciation class or 2.
The uproar is about a video that for 11 seconds shows an image of Jesus with ants crawling on it.
Sullivan, the director of the museum, explained that the video conveyed the idea that humans are created in the image of Christ and that “we’re all going back into the earth, that we’re decaying. If you look at Latin American art and imagery, really over time there are a lot of portrayals of Christian iconography with suffering, agony and death,”

Congressman Eric Cantor (R-VA), the incoming House majority leader, called for the entire show to be shut down, saying that it was “an outrageous use of taxpayer money.”

The Smithsonian does receive some government funding for the general running of the place and maintenance of collected exhibits. Temporary exhibits are privately funded like this one.

Incoming House speaker John Boehner (R-OH) released a statement which threatened that the Smithsonian’s funding would face “tough scrutiny” when the new Republican majority in the House assembled in January if the museum didn’t scuttle the exhibit.

It is not the job of the government to censor art work.

One organization which protested was the Catholic League. President Bill Donohue,
 remained unappeased, and continued to urge Congress to eliminate federal funding for the Smithsonian.
“Why should the working class pay for the leisure of the elite when in fact one of the things the working class likes to do for leisure is to go to professional wrestling? And if I suggested we should have federal funds for professional wrestling to lower the cost of the ticket, people would think I’m insane. I don’t go to museums any more than any Americans do,” Donohue said.

I have a HUGE problem with the leisure of the elite statement. It is just this attitude that keeps most people away from the museums and galleries. Art is for everyone  asshat !
Maybe you should go visit a museum more often instead of watching fake wrestling.

Art is the foundation of our history. Artists are the ones who has taught us about ourselves before any written language. It inspires change and motivation. When was the last time you picked up a history and not seen art?!

There must be a great deal of people going to museums and galleries because they are still in business and some are government funded. There are grants to support the arts and projects to bring art to the public forum. So it must be a big deal.

Art has transformed cities much like my hometown. Canton was dieing off after the steel mills moved. It was the art and artists that worked hard to bring the people back downtown. It is also everywhere and everything you see and use. An artist designed the clothes you wear and the chair you sit on.  If you watch TV or movies, ART. If you listen to music, ART. If you like the decorations in your home, ART.

Just because you don;t understand what you are looking at does not mean you can shut it down or have the power to censor it.
This is NOT Orwell's 1984.

As a show of disapproval against this act of censorship, Transformer Gallery, also based in Washington, has begun playing the video in the front window of its gallery on P Street NW, and will continue to do so until the video is reinstated by the National Portrait Gallery.
I want to thank Transformer Gallery .

Now even the "wrestling" crowd can watch, for free.

No comments:

Post a Comment