Best from the Rest is a new feature that will highlight really wonderful articles from our favorite blogs and online magazines. For this very first Best from the Rest, we’re doing something a little different — I’m featuring a whole website, and one that’s text-based, for a very special reason. Timing and urgency make this necessary.
The website hideseek.org is a clearing house of information about the controversy that has risen surrounding the removal of David Wojnarowicz’s video A Fire in My Belly from the National Portrait Gallery’s exhibition Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture. The site offers links to a growing number of articles chiming in on the issues, including the excellent piece written this past weekend by Holland Cotter for the New York Times. The site also offers a list of screenings going on all over the country in support of the work and freedom of expression, including the screening being hosted by Light Work and ArtRage tomorrow night.
Censorship of this kind must be acknowledged and discussed publically. This is the best way to restart discussion and dialog that conservatives, and in this case the National Portrait Gallery, decided that we shouldn’t have. When institutions begin to retroactively recurate their exhibitions based on political pressure, this is bad news for everyone, especially those who would like to make up their own minds about the work and the issues it addresses.
Take a look at hideseek.org and let me know what you think in the comments.
— Mary Goodwin, Associate Director