Use Art for Airports to spread David Wojnarowicz's art!
Yep. Surely you've heard the news by now. Smithsonian Secretary G. Wayne Clough ordered the removal of Wojnarowicz’s A Fire in My Belly (1987) from the National Portrait Gallery's "Hide/Seek" show after the incoming House leader John Boehner and Republican Whip Eric Cantor, warned that the NPG's budget would face "tough scrutiny" next year if they didn't take down the show.
Nao Bustamante posted a short WashPost video clip of the censored piece. Check it out. It is a pretty tame video! And makes the NPG cave-in during the week of World AIDS Day that much more depressing.
Tyler Green recently posted on his Modern Art Notes blog that P·P·O·W Gallery in Miami has made a PDF of David Wojnarowicz's Untitled (One day this kid…) available to anyone who wants to distribute it and they are encouraging people to take photos, upload to them Flickr and tag them with "onedaythiskid"!
Create your own Art for Airports WiFi network to get this powerful image in front of people while traveling during this "busiest travel time of the year!" Host the pdf, and spread the art of David Wojnarowicz!
If the nerdly interventions aren't your thing, consider emailing the NPG. Adam Trowbridge's open letter (below) is a stunning place to start.
I have no way of knowing what events happened at the National Portrait Gallery that lead to the censorship of David Wojnarowicz's video. I do know that I was proud of your institution for putting up the show. Unfortunately, whatever recognition the National Portrait Gallery earned and whatever possible progress made is now destroyed beyond repair. You have, in one move, created a connection between the National Portrait Gallery, censorship --not even censorship but, much worse, willing self-censorship--and homophobia. It would have been so much better were you to not have had the show at all, knowing you did not posses the spine to defend it at any cost. As it is, this is a complete loss and I have no intention of asking you, as those who urged me to contact you asked, to keep the "rest" of show up. Instead, I am asking you to take down the show in its entirety rather than leave it in its current, broken state. Take down the show and walk away from this so that we may feel that wound, so that we may recognize the terror inflicted upon us, and react against those who hate the world so much that they needed to remove an artwork about a man who died from AIDS, made by his lover, an artist who died from AIDS, the day after a day specifically set aside to recognize the tragedy of AIDS.
If you cannot stand up, please get out of the way.