Saturday, December 04, 2010

from Jenn Sichel – Speak OUT: Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture

Dear friends,

As many of you know, I [Jenn Sichel] spent several years in DC putting together a show at the National Portrait Gallery called Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture. The show casts the history of American art through a queer lens, challenging our assumptions about what/how art means. The show is not a reductive look at "gay" art but rather a look at how artists navigate around a complex set of codes that govern sexual expression, how they circumvent and/or use these codes to express their own silenced desires, how they've dealt with love and loss when AIDS ravaged the community, and how (more recently) artists complicate society's imperative to identify as "gay/lesbian." The show is under serious attack from the right. They demanded that a video by David Wojnarowicz be removed, and the museum caved with an hour. I am outraged — almost 20 years after his death, Wojnarowicz is still being silenced! And now there is a good chance the entire show will be pulled. Please help me in rallying behind the show. We need an army of support.

What can you do?

Email NPG's director, Martin E. Sullivan expressing your support for the show. His email address is Forward this email to everyone and anyone who might care. Write your congressmen/women. Spread the word on facebook, twitter, etc.

In solidarity,
Jenn Sichel
this is the guy to send an email to a.s.a.p

(my letter)

To Martin E. Sullivan,

As a gay artist living in NYC and in the 21st Century, having grown up in a repressed right wing Midwestern society - as an outcast - I moved to NYC to escape the hatred that exists in small-town America that has been fostered for decades by the God fearing right. I have been greatly moved and influenced by artists such as David Wojnarowicz, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Martin Wong - only to name a few - I feel that it's important to let this show go on uncensored.. for a number of reasons especially now as the right is rallying to once again take over government, create new wars, silence creativity and to repress sexual desire...

It would be a shame if you canceled this show. After years of the progress that has been made from Stonewall to Act UP .. I stand firm that this show MUST GO ON!! ..

.. To help educate the next generation so that they can live in a world of compassion and love - not one of hate.

Being gay in not only O.K. it's a BIG part of nature - we are not only eco-friendly by not increasing population growth, but we have for centuries donated our time as cultural innovators from Michelangelo to Andy Warhol.. and have contributed immensely to the beauty and understanding of mankind.

Get over it and get on with the show!

Scott Hug

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