---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 2004 11:17:40 -0500
From: Barbara Hunt <email@example.com
To: Joy Episalla <firstname.lastname@example.org
>, Joy Garnett <email@example.com
Christian Rattemeyer <firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Fwd: [undercurrents] Fwd: Arts Intolerance: Emily Jacir/Ulrich Museum
Begin forwarded message:
From: martha rosler <email@example.com
Date: December 11, 2004 10:35:59 PM EST
Subject: [undercurrents] Fwd: Arts Intolerance: Emily Jacir/Ulrich
>> From: Emna Zghal <firstname.lastname@example.org
>> Date: Sat, 11 Dec 2004 15:07:37 -0500
>> Subject: [aaw] Arts Intolerance: Emily Jacir/Ulrich Museum Wichita
>> Dear All,
>> The following messages are from my friends Kamran Rastagar (visiting
>> professor at Brown University) and Emily Jacir (artist).
>> Emily's work at the a Museum in Kansas is being attacked by some
>> group and the museum in authorizing this group to invade the space of
>> installation by materials this group is choosing.
>> I think this sets a dangerous precedent, all artists should be
>> allowed to
>> express themselves and have their work be received on its own terms.
>> fact that a Palestinian, and in this case a Palestinian American, is
>> allowed to express her view with some sort of a disclaimer shouldn't
>> acceptable. That this "disclaimer" or "balancing material" is not
>> by the Museum and is without the agreement of the artist is
>> I guess the first step is to write to the museum director and curator.
>> Emna Zghal
>> ------ Forwarded Message
>> Dear Friends,
>> The following is a call for assistance by the Palestinian-American
>> artist Emily Jacir, whose work has been showing to critical acclaim
>> internationally. An exhibition of her work "Where We Come From" was
>> to go up at a museum in Wichita, Kansas affiliated with Wichita
>> State University. The administration of the museum has now
>> unilaterally decided to allow an outside religious group to have
>> access to the museum in order to place a poster, and political
>> materials 'balancing' Emily's work in the museum just outside her
>> gallery for the duration of her show.
>> This is a major deviation from any norms of conduct in the arts
>> and academic community - the precedent this sets is clear and
>> disturbing; anti-gay groups can place materials at a show by a gay
>> artist,anti-semites at a show by a Jewish artist, etc.
>> Please forward this widely, and write a note to the director of the
>> museum (info below) - if anyone has connections with free-speech
>> academic arts groups that are concerned about these kinds of issues,
>> please involve them.
>> Reviews of Emily's work:
>> - K. Rastegar
>> Visiting Assistant Professor
>> Department of Comparative Literature
>> Marston Hall, Box E
>> Brown University
>> Providence, RI 02912
>> email: email@example.com
>> ----- Forwarded message from emily jacir -----
>> Dear all,
>> I was slated to have a one person show at the Ulrich Museum in
>> Wichita, Kansas in January 26th. The piece was Where We Come From
>> which was included by Dan Cameron on the 8th Istanbul Biennale
>> "Poetic Justice", and a small excerpt of it was also included in
>> this years Whitney Bienniel.
>> This show has been planned for over a year, much to my horror two
>> days ago I was told that the The Jewish Federation of Kansas has
>> put pressure on the University and the Museum so that they have been
>> granted permission to place brochures and a sign in the gallery
>> expressing their views concerning the politics of the Middle East.
>> Actually, the University and Museum have no idea what text is
>> contained in the brochures and what the posters are but have given
>> them permission nonetheless.
>> This is a complete infringement on my right to free speech, not to
>> mention an insult to me as an artist. It is intolerable that I have
>> to go through this just because of my background. I am sure no
>> other artist would accept to work under such conditions. They are
>> placing a huge unnecessary burden on my exhibit with the presence of
>> the brochures which are intended to silence or censor my work. I am
>> shocked that they would place such conditions in a the space of a
>> On the one hand they are allowing me to speak but on another they
>> are trying to control my work by placing brochures, thereby
>> contextualizing and framing my work in ways I have no control over.
>> Not only is this an infringement to free speech but it also disturbs
>> the integrity of my work.
>> This also sets a bad precedent for them - the next time the
>> University has a show that some group wants to object to they will
>> have to put that group's sign up in the gallery.
>> I feel violated as an artist by their decision to put a sign in the
>> exhibition with my pictures. This modifies my installation and the
>> work is no longer what it was intended to be.
>> I think people should be able to see my work on its own terms and be
>> able to form their own opinion. I am not against having a
>> conversation, or organizing panels where a variety of views can be
>> expressed if necessary.
>> If this group is allowed to do this then perhaps other groups should
>> also demand that their own signs and brochures be placed in the
>> gallery as well. How could they be refused? The Museum has now
>> opened up my exhibition space as space for comments from one
>> political group so why deny others?
>> I am very upset and people are telling me I should cancel the
>> exhibition. I am not sure what to do....I don't want to cancel
>> because it is not fair that the people in Wichita are unable to see
>> my work because of this fiasco but on the other hand these terms are
>> Please help me. Does anyone have contacts with the ACLU or ideas?
>> The Director of the Museum is David Butler.
>> Edwin A. Ulrich Museum of Art
>> Wichita State University, 1845 Fairmount, Wichita, Kansas 67260
>> contact: Dr. David Butler, Director
>> telephone: 316-978-3664, fax: 316-978-3898
>> e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
>> Kevin Mullins is the Curator who invited me to Wichita.
>> 316 978-5851
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