In the wake of the Smithsonian's appalling removal of the Wojnarowicz piece from Hide/Seek, the Corcoran, Transformer, and the National Coalition Against Censorship are banding together today for an seven-hour symposium, Culture Wars: Then & Now. Svetlana Mintcheva, director of programs at the NCAC (which was founded in 1974), nails the greater problem in saying, “We are convening this symposium because the fear of controversy and subsequent institutional self-censorship that come in the wake of a censorship incident are much more dangerous than the incident itself.”
The panels include many hotshots, from keynoter Yale School of Art dean Robert Storr [pictured] to People for the American Way president Michael Keegan to Art+ activist Bill Dobbs. Absent from the lineup are the Hide/Seek curators, who perhaps have already contributed everything they can on the subject, or anyone else connected to the show.
The four topics are Censorship Examined; Culture Wars Redux; Give Me a Revolution: Artists’ Responses to Censorship; and Free Speech & Arts Funding
The full agenda after the jump
Robert Storr, Dean of the Yale School of Art, will examine visual arts censorship within the context of American culture and history.
Screening of Linda Lewett’s video Perfect Moment at WPA .
Culture Wars Redux – What did we (what do we) consider offensive?
11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
Panelists include Philip Brookman, director of curatorial affairs at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and former curator of Washington Project for the Arts; Dennis Barrie, director of cultural and interpretive planning, Las Vegas Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement and former director of the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center; Jane Livingston, independent curator, author, and former associate director and chief curator at the Corcoran Gallery of Art; and H. Louis Sirkin, attorney who represented Dennis Barrie and CAC at the trial provoked by the Robert Mapplethorpe retrospective, The Perfect Moment, 20 years ago. The discussion will be moderated by Svetlana Mintcheva, director of programs at the National Coalition Against Censorship.
Screening of Martha Wilson’s performance Barbara Bush: All Washed UP and Guerilla Girls’ HERSTORY
Give me a Revolution: Artists’ Responses to Censorship
Panelists include Mike Blasenstein and Michael Dax Iacovone from the Museum of Censored Art; Orameh Bagheri from LA Raw; Bill Dobbs of Art+; and Marshall Reese of Ligorano/Reese Collaborations. The discussion will be moderated by Victoria Reis, executive and artistic director of Transformer.
Free Speech & Arts Funding
Panelists include Nora Halpern, vice president of leadership alliances, Americans for the Arts; Michael Keegan, president, People for the American Way; Robert Atkins, art historian, activist, author, and co-editor of Censoring Culture: Contemporary Threats to Freedom of Express; David A. Smith, senior lecturer in American History at Baylor University, Waco, TX and author of Money for Art: The Tangled Web of Art and Politics in American Democracy. The discussion will be moderated by Andy Grundberg, associate provost and dean of undergraduate studies, Corcoran College of Art + Design.