That it's taken three days to write about the Hide/Seek curators' presentation at the NYPL is all the indication you need of how little happened. Understandably, David Ward and Jonathan Katz said they wanted first to do what they were invited to do -- present highlights from the show (rushed, and still too long) -- before addressing the controversy around the Wojnarowicz removal. Unfortunately, they didn't address it afterward -- several esoteric art questions came first -- until absolute hero Ann Northrop reminded them of their promise and asked for answers. Ward's canned replies were along the lines of 'Are we unhappy about it? Absolutely. But there are still 104+ works to see.' Katz's response had more heat -- calling the Catholic League "anti-Semites" and "an American Taliban" -- and revealing himself as a political naif to say he "can't believe in 2010" that politicians would align themselves with such a group. A more interesting point Katz made was about the bitter sting of hearing criticism about the cowardice of the removal from the very New York art institutions that refused to mount or co-curate the exhibit.
Very roughly, the crowd was perhaps forty-percent more angry about the removal (a chant of PUT IT BACK! PUT IT BACK! did not catch on) and sixty-percent more supportive of the NPG for being the one institution brave enough to host the exhibit. The problem with the latter view is that the Smithsonian has said to the homophobic bigots, You're right, we're wrong. The group's trumped-up falsehoods were confirmed as truths; to ignore that travesty and only rally round the capitulators for their earlier bravery gives the haters a free pass and further emboldens them for their next baseless attack on anything they deem unacceptable.
Art+ is organizing Sunday's 1:00pm march from the Metropolitan Museum to the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt, protesting the removal of A Fire in my Belly.