You have probably heard that the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery recently ejected from its premises David Wojnarowicz’s video installation, A Fire in My Belly. The work was part of the museum’s “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture,” reported to be the first major museum exhibition addressing gay and lesbian identity in the arts.
‘Tis the season, in other words, for another right-wing attack on a piece of artwork by a gay artist depicting Jesus. This one reportedly depicts Jesus at one point with ants crawling over him and is otherwise described in the museum’s catalog (not inaccurately) as “homoerotic.”
Seriously, where’s the sport in this? It’s like crucifying fish in a barrel. The real value for the Republican leadership and attendant blowhards is, of course, in the distraction all their righteous umbrage affords from the real obscenities well underway this holiday season. Yeah, merry fucking Christmas to you too.
To the extent this blatant act of censorship does call attention to the video piece by the late artist-activist Wojnarowicz (who died in 1992), it’s good to see it will be given pride of place tonight at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts’ alternative Christmas party cum fundraiser, Noël Noir. YBCA recently announced A Fire in My Belly will replace the previously slated midnight “surprise” movie, and play on continuous loop from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Fri/10, 9 p.m.-2 a.m., $25
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
701 Mission, SF