Artistic Action Planned for Thurs., Dec. 2: A silent protest march from Transformer gallery to the National Portrait Gallery and then on to Congress.
In early response to the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian Institution's censoring of David Wojnarowicz's 1987 video work A Fire in My Belly, from the current Hide/Seek exhibition, Transformer initiated a screening of the work in our storefront project space at 1404 P Street, NW, Washington, DC. The work currently on view is an approximately four minute excerpt of the original thirty-minute work in progress by the artist.
"As a response to the censorship by the Smithsonian of Wojnarowicz's work, and in honor of World AIDS Day & Day With(out) Art, the many alternative art spaces, visual arts organizations, artists, and activists around the world that have paved the path for freedom of expression & the existence of experimental arts venues like Transformer, we feel it is our job to champion all artists' creative expression without constraints, and to continue the important dialogue Wojnarowicz's work generates about aggression, hunger, community, love, loss, as well as religion" states Victoria Reis, co-Founder, Executive & Artistic Director of Transformer.
Reis continues, "We have received overwhelmingly positive response to our actions from individuals and arts leaders all over the country who are shocked by the National Portrait Gallery's and the Smithsonian Institution's decision to censor this work from the Hide/Seek exhibition, and who are saddened by the bullying of lawmakers turning back the clock and once again using the threat of cutting arts funding as a scare tactic that is part of an anti-art, anti-intellectual, and anti-gay agenda. We are glad to see mobilizing of other screenings being organized in other cities."
Transformer will soon be showing the entire thirty-minute Wojnarowicz work in progress, with unique permission of his Estate: "I give Transformer permission to show this clearly censored work, I only wish David were alive, he would tear these censors apart." -Tom Rauffenbart, Executor of the Estate of David Wojnarowicz.
Artistic Action Planned for Thursday, December 2:
A silent protest march from Transformer to the
National Portrait Gallery and then on to Congress.
Meet at Transformer at 5:30pm.
The artistic action will begin at 6pm with mouths tied.
In tandem with the on-going screening of Fire in My Belly, Transformer is organizing an artistic action for Thursday, December 2 in protest of the decision to censor David Wojnarowicz's video Fire in My Belly from the Hide/Seek exhibition. "We are inviting all people concerned by the actions of our law-makers, as well as the actions of the Smithsonian Institution and the National Portrait Gallery who cowered to governmental bullying, to meet at Transformer at 5:30pm Thursday 12/2 to participate in a silent walk from Transformer to the NPG. Following a visual expression of dissent in response to the censorship on the part of these organizations & our lawmakers, we will move on to the steps of Congress to further express our concern & dissent. " – James Alefantis, Transformer Board President.