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‘Fire in My Belly’ Censorship Protest at the MET


12.15.10 Marina Galperina

Earlier this month, Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery director Martin Sullivan sheepishly and wrongly censored the video art A Fire in My Belly because it was “misunderstood” by GOP bullies John Boehner and Eric Cantor, who turned 11 seconds of a AIDS-metaphor-infused ant-covered crucifix into How the Gays Stole Christmas. This Sunday Dec. 19 at 1pm, don your paper mask of downtown NYC artist David Wojnarowicz and join the protest march from the MET to Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt.

Recently, the National Portrait Gallery’s commissioner resigned and major Smithsonian backer the Warhol Foundation promised to pull funding in protest.

There’s a bright side: With hundreds of institutions (and iPad wearers)  screening A Fire in My Belly, it is likely the most-viewed video art piece in the country. And, unlike MOCA’s Jeffrey Deitch, at least Martin Sullivan let a controversial piece be exhibited before censoring it. Though, granted, no one could have fathomed an AIDS piece screened during AIDS Awareness Month would be furiously interpreted as “an obvious attempt to offend Christians during the Christmas season.”