A few friends and I have been discussing The Smithsonian’s censorship of David Wojnarowicz’s video “A Fire in My Belly” after protests from the right, and AA Bronson’s subsequent request that his work, Felix, be removed from the show “Hide/Seek”. Bronson has been working with a lawyer to get his work back, but has he explored all the options? An artist from Toronto offered a few additional suggestions I’m publishing below complete with a reader poll. Let us know what method of protest you prefer and we’ll pass the message along!
1. Turn the piece around so Felix faces the wall. The artist dictates how the work is hung — he should instruct the institution change its orientation. The act would be a powerful comment on the homophobic threats that prompted the Smithsonian’s censorship from within the walls of the museum itself.
2. Walk into the institution and take the work off the wall. Most museums aren’t so heavily guarded that this couldn’t be achieved with a little planning. I expect Bronson might be fined for forcibly removing his work, but the act itself is aggressive enough to be meaningful.
3. Threaten to sue for emotional damages. AA Bronson has written a letter every day to The Smithsonian’s Wayne Clough requesting the removal of his work — surely that signals emotion duress of some sort. Hoping to cut its losses the museum would give Bronson his work back.
4. Stage a Shit-in: Marches and petitions don’t seem to phase anyone any more, but I bet shitting on site does! Nobody wants to clean up human feces. We had some debate over whether to name the protest a Poo-in or a Shit-in. The latter won.