Hyperallergic reports that AA Bronson has requested The Smithsonian remove his work “Felix, June 5, 1994″ from “Hide/Seek” in protest of the museum’s handling of David Wojnarowicz's “A Fire In My Belly” video. This piece was removed late November after The Smithsonian received complaints from the Catholic League and Rep. John Boehner. Bronson broke the news via facebook:
I wrote to the National Portrait Gallery this evening requesting that they remove my work “Felix, June 5, 1994”³ from the “Hide/Seek” exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. As an artist who saw first hand the tremendous agony and pain that so many of my generation lived through, and died with, I cannot take the decision of the Smithsonian lightly. To edit queer history in this way is hurtful and disrespectful.
Meanwhile, “Hide/Seek” curators David C. Ward and Jonathan D. Katz yesterday condemned the decision to remove the video made by the Smithsonian's secretary, G. Wayne Clough. The two outlined their positions at The New York Public Library yesterday during a talk about the museum’s recent withdraw of support for the Wojnarowicz video. According to the Times, Ward condemned the decision hasty, and Katz labeled it “aborhant”.
Both events feed into the building momentum for Sunday’s protest against the Smithsonian’s censorship of the video at The Metropolitian Museum of Art this Sunday at 1 pm. From there a march will proceed to The Cooper-Hewitt/Smithsonian at 91st Street. I encourage every reader who is in New York at this time to attend.
Update: Bronson talks to The Washington Post about his decision.
Update: See also, Art Positive.