iPad-Wielding Smithsonian Censorship Protestors Banned for Life… By DC Police?

12.07.10 Marina Galperina

IPADTo protest the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery censoring David Wojnarowicz’s video art piece after being bullied by the GOP, a Hide/Seek exhibit visitor screened A Fire in My Belly on an iPad hanging from his neck.

As one of many reactions to the disgraceful censorship, it was a clever DIY protest and a most benevolent application of Apple techie-bling. It didn’t end well.

First, the security guards intimidated visitors from watching the “censored” piece by the late downtown NYC artist, or from picking up info flyers. Eventually, the iPad holder and his videographer were accosted by a wobbling horde of guards, forced down and handcuffed.

They were kicked out of the museum and banned for life, although a Smithsonian spokeperson reveals and even more disturbing development: The museum doesn’t have that authority — it was “entirely the business of the DC police.”

Good news: Manhattan’s New Museum is joining nationwide censorship protest by screening A Fire in My Belly in their lobby, free and on view for everyone.