Arts Intolerance: Emily Jacir/Ulrich Museum Wichita

Posted by joy garnett | Tue Dec 14th 2004 9:28 a.m.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 14 Dec 2004 11:17:40 -0500
From: Barbara Hunt <bhunt@artistsspace.org>
To: Joy Episalla <jepisalla@nyc.rr.com>, Joy Garnett <joyeria@walrus.com>,
Christian Rattemeyer <crattemeyer@artistsspace.org>
Subject: Fwd: [undercurrents] Fwd: Arts Intolerance: Emily Jacir/Ulrich Museum
Wichita

Begin forwarded message:

From: martha rosler <navva@earthlink.net>
Date: December 11, 2004 10:35:59 PM EST
To: undercurrents@bbs.thing.net
Subject: [undercurrents] Fwd: Arts Intolerance: Emily Jacir/Ulrich
Museum Wichita
Reply-To: undercurrents@bbs.thing.net

>> From: Emna Zghal <emna@earthlink.net>
>> 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
>> religious
>> group and the museum in authorizing this group to invade the space of
>> her
>> 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.
>> The
>> fact that a Palestinian, and in this case a Palestinian American, is
>> only
>> allowed to express her view with some sort of a disclaimer shouldn't
>> be
>> acceptable. That this "disclaimer" or "balancing material" is not
>> authored
>> by the Museum and is without the agreement of the artist is
>> outrageous.
>>
>> I guess the first step is to write to the museum director and curator.
>>
>> Best,
>>
>> Emna Zghal
>> http://www.nathirat.net
>>
>>
>> ------ 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:
>>
>> http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0268/is_6_42/ai_113389509
>> (ArtForum)
>> http://adbusters.org/magazine/art_activism/exile.php
>> http://www.contemporary-magazine.com/reviews59_1.htm
>> http://www.newyorkmetro.com/arts/articles/04/whitney/3.htm
>>
>> - K. Rastegar
>>
>> -----------------------
>> Visiting Assistant Professor
>> Department of Comparative Literature
>> Marston Hall, Box E
>> Brown University
>> Providence, RI 02912
>> email: kamran_rastegar@brown.edu
>>
>>
>>
>> ----- 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
>> museum.
>>
>> 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
>> unacceptable....
>>
>> 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: david.butler@wichita.edu
>>
>> Kevin Mullins is the Curator who invited me to Wichita.
>> Kevin.Mullins@wichita.edu
>> 316 978-5851
>>
>>
>>
>>
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Executive Director
Artists Space
38 Greene St, 3rd Fl.,
New York NY 10013
Tel: 212.226.3970 x 33
  • Plasma Studii | Tue Dec 14th 2004 11 a.m.
    while this would be outrageous in new york, this is in wichita. ever
    been there? it's actually not totally freaky proudly conservative,
    and anti-everybody else like much of texas, but about like nj. not
    as glamorous, but not despondent. i grew up near there.

    anyway, seems like nobody HAS to send their work to the mid-west, we
    choose to (or we choose agents who choose to, etc) but the view of
    what is decent policy for art will be different there. what we see
    as a shocking breach, they wouldn't think twice about. this issue is
    probably somewhere in between.

    here, art museums can give more "rights" to the artists and their
    work and say "sorry" to investors. not on all occasions, but often.
    it's seen as integrity. there, they just don't do that. investors
    come first, and artists are way down the list of concerns. "artistic
    integrity" (as we define it) might get a laugh. no doubt, this
    museum was afraid of pissing off investors.

    but more importantly, it's a cultural difference. here (and i don't
    mean just ny, but metropolises where art is gets taken more
    seriously), there isn't nearly as much compromise as acceptance. you
    don't see hamburgers on a menu in an indian restaurant. there,
    people tend to try to accommodate everyone with compromises.
    something for everyone.

    and that's exactly what this sounds like. folks angry about only
    seeing one side of an issue are appeased by seeing 2. i don't agree
    and probably no one on this list does either. but we'd be members of
    a minority mind-set there. we have an unspoken "respect" for art,
    that just isn't universal.

    we can choose to send works into that disrespectful zone, the
    mid-west, where they don't follow our rules. we can shrug and accept
    their reactions or just not send any there. we could also complain
    that they don't speak english enough in bangladesh.

    judsoN
    --

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    PLASMA STUDII
    art non-profit
    stages * galleries * the web
    New York, USA

    (on-line press kit)
    http://plasmastudii.org
  • MTAA | Tue Dec 14th 2004 11:23 a.m.
    THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS!!!

    I'm going to force a museum to allow my aesthetic opinion to be equally
    balanced the next time I see something I don't like in a gallery or
    museum.

    BLUE! I HATE BLUE! I demand space in the gallery for my opinion to be
    heard!

    It's absolutely ridiculous. The admins of this so-called art
    institution should be ashamed of themselves.

    On Dec 14, 2004, at 1:00 PM, Plasma Studii wrote:

    > while this would be outrageous in new york, this is in wichita. ever
    > been there? it's actually not totally freaky proudly conservative,
    > and anti-everybody else like much of texas, but about like nj. not as
    > glamorous, but not despondent. i grew up near there.
    >
    >
    > anyway, seems like nobody HAS to send their work to the mid-west, we
    > choose to (or we choose agents who choose to, etc) but the view of
    > what is decent policy for art will be different there. what we see as
    > a shocking breach, they wouldn't think twice about. this issue is
    > probably somewhere in between.
    >
    > here, art museums can give more "rights" to the artists and their work
    > and say "sorry" to investors. not on all occasions, but often. it's
    > seen as integrity. there, they just don't do that. investors come
    > first, and artists are way down the list of concerns. "artistic
    > integrity" (as we define it) might get a laugh. no doubt, this museum
    > was afraid of pissing off investors.
    >
    >
    > but more importantly, it's a cultural difference. here (and i don't
    > mean just ny, but metropolises where art is gets taken more
    > seriously), there isn't nearly as much compromise as acceptance. you
    > don't see hamburgers on a menu in an indian restaurant. there, people
    > tend to try to accommodate everyone with compromises. something for
    > everyone.
    >
    > and that's exactly what this sounds like. folks angry about only
    > seeing one side of an issue are appeased by seeing 2. i don't agree
    > and probably no one on this list does either. but we'd be members of
    > a minority mind-set there. we have an unspoken "respect" for art,
    > that just isn't universal.
    >
    >
    > we can choose to send works into that disrespectful zone, the
    > mid-west, where they don't follow our rules. we can shrug and accept
    > their reactions or just not send any there. we could also complain
    > that they don't speak english enough in bangladesh.
    >
    > judsoN
    > --
    >

    ===
    > <twhid>http://www.mteww.com</twhid>
    ===
  • ryan griffis | Tue Dec 14th 2004 12:32 p.m.
    > but more importantly, it's a cultural difference. here (and i don't
    > mean just ny, but metropolises where art is gets taken more
    > seriously), there isn't nearly as much compromise as acceptance. you
    > don't see hamburgers on a menu in an indian restaurant. there, people
    > tend to try to accommodate everyone with compromises. something for
    > everyone.

    i don't know... right down the street from me (in LA) is a restaurant
    that offers burgers, burritos and Thai food. ;)
    i don't think accommodation or compromise are the issues - allowing
    difference is exactly what should be happening. i think judsoN was
    closer to accuracy when locating the patron/funders as the source of an
    intolerance for difference. and this isn't just an "art" respect issue
    - this instance speaks to a fundamental shift in educational
    institutions, as corporate interests and fundamentalists assert their
    agendas at the expense of difference. and i don't think it's a good
    idea to ignore it either way. oddly, religious fundamentalism and hyper
    capitalism get along great here (the 700 club financial news is an odd
    reality - "preparing your stock portfolio for the rapture")
  • void void | Tue Dec 14th 2004 12:52 p.m.
    TOTAL BS!

    here is copy of an e-mail i sent to David Butler and copied to Kevin Mullins. I urge other to do so also.

    hello,
    I read a bit about the cowardly way you have marginalized the artist Emily Zghal's work by allowing a religious group to put some form of disclaimer in relationship to the work.
    simply said art is about expression and not balance. You should be ashamed of yourself, this country does still have a constitution and it's first amendment reads:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    which applies to all forms of expression artistic and otherwise in case you forgot.
    AE04

    t.whid wrote:

    > THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS!!!
    >
    > I'm going to force a museum to allow my aesthetic opinion to be
    > equally
    > balanced the next time I see something I don't like in a gallery or
    > museum.
    >
    > BLUE! I HATE BLUE! I demand space in the gallery for my opinion to be
    > heard!
    >
    > It's absolutely ridiculous. The admins of this so-called art
    > institution should be ashamed of themselves.
    >
    > On Dec 14, 2004, at 1:00 PM, Plasma Studii wrote:
    >
    > > while this would be outrageous in new york, this is in wichita.
    > ever
    > > been there? it's actually not totally freaky proudly conservative,
    > > and anti-everybody else like much of texas, but about like nj. not
    > as
    > > glamorous, but not despondent. i grew up near there.
    > >
    > >
    > > anyway, seems like nobody HAS to send their work to the mid-west,
    > we
    > > choose to (or we choose agents who choose to, etc) but the view of
    > > what is decent policy for art will be different there. what we see
    > as
    > > a shocking breach, they wouldn't think twice about. this issue is
    > > probably somewhere in between.
    > >
    > > here, art museums can give more "rights" to the artists and their
    > work
    > > and say "sorry" to investors. not on all occasions, but often.
    > it's
    > > seen as integrity. there, they just don't do that. investors come
    > > first, and artists are way down the list of concerns. "artistic
    > > integrity" (as we define it) might get a laugh. no doubt, this
    > museum
    > > was afraid of pissing off investors.
    > >
    > >
    > > but more importantly, it's a cultural difference. here (and i
    > don't
    > > mean just ny, but metropolises where art is gets taken more
    > > seriously), there isn't nearly as much compromise as acceptance.
    > you
    > > don't see hamburgers on a menu in an indian restaurant. there,
    > people
    > > tend to try to accommodate everyone with compromises. something for
    > > everyone.
    > >
    > > and that's exactly what this sounds like. folks angry about only
    > > seeing one side of an issue are appeased by seeing 2. i don't
    > agree
    > > and probably no one on this list does either. but we'd be members
    > of
    > > a minority mind-set there. we have an unspoken "respect" for art,
    > > that just isn't universal.
    > >
    > >
    > > we can choose to send works into that disrespectful zone, the
    > > mid-west, where they don't follow our rules. we can shrug and
    > accept
    > > their reactions or just not send any there. we could also complain
    > > that they don't speak english enough in bangladesh.
    > >
    > > judsoN
    > > --
    > >
    >
    > ===
    > > <twhid>http://www.mteww.com</twhid>
    > ===
    >
    >
  • joy garnett | Tue Dec 14th 2004 12:54 p.m.
    My *first* reaction was actually: *There are JEWS in Wichita?!* Okay, wow.

    So I guess being Palestinian is even worse than being a jew in Wichita.

    On Tue, 14 Dec 2004, t.whid wrote:

    > THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS!!!
    >
    > I'm going to force a museum to allow my aesthetic opinion to be equally
    > balanced the next time I see something I don't like in a gallery or museum.
    >
    > BLUE! I HATE BLUE! I demand space in the gallery for my opinion to be heard!
    >
    > It's absolutely ridiculous. The admins of this so-called art institution
    > should be ashamed of themselves.
    >
    > On Dec 14, 2004, at 1:00 PM, Plasma Studii wrote:
    >
    >> while this would be outrageous in new york, this is in wichita. ever been
    >> there? it's actually not totally freaky proudly conservative, and
    >> anti-everybody else like much of texas, but about like nj. not as
    >> glamorous, but not despondent. i grew up near there.
    >>
    >>
    >> anyway, seems like nobody HAS to send their work to the mid-west, we
    >> choose to (or we choose agents who choose to, etc) but the view of what
    >> is decent policy for art will be different there. what we see as a
    >> shocking breach, they wouldn't think twice about. this issue is probably
    >> somewhere in between.
    >>
    >> here, art museums can give more "rights" to the artists and their work and
    >> say "sorry" to investors. not on all occasions, but often. it's seen as
    >> integrity. there, they just don't do that. investors come first, and
    >> artists are way down the list of concerns. "artistic integrity" (as we
    >> define it) might get a laugh. no doubt, this museum was afraid of pissing
    >> off investors.
    >>
    >>
    >> but more importantly, it's a cultural difference. here (and i don't mean
    >> just ny, but metropolises where art is gets taken more seriously), there
    >> isn't nearly as much compromise as acceptance. you don't see hamburgers
    >> on a menu in an indian restaurant. there, people tend to try to
    >> accommodate everyone with compromises. something for everyone.
    >>
    >> and that's exactly what this sounds like. folks angry about only seeing
    >> one side of an issue are appeased by seeing 2. i don't agree and probably
    >> no one on this list does either. but we'd be members of a minority
    >> mind-set there. we have an unspoken "respect" for art, that just isn't
    >> universal.
    >>
    >>
    >> we can choose to send works into that disrespectful zone, the mid-west,
    >> where they don't follow our rules. we can shrug and accept their
    >> reactions or just not send any there. we could also complain that they
    >> don't speak english enough in bangladesh.
    >>
    >> judsoN
    >> --
    >>
    >
    > ===
    >> <twhid>http://www.mteww.com</twhid>
    > ===
    >
    >
    > +
    > -> post: list@rhizome.org
    > -> questions: info@rhizome.org
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    > +
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    > Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >
    >
  • joy garnett | Tue Dec 14th 2004 12:56 p.m.
    sorry, that's like saying: it's okay in the mid-west that they don't
    respect the First Amendment since they are religios and cannibals out
    there -- I mean, "our rules"? really now. I suppose the KKK didn't really
    follow "our rules" either.

    On Tue, 14 Dec 2004, Plasma Studii wrote:

    > while this would be outrageous in new york, this is in wichita. ever been
    > there? it's actually not totally freaky proudly conservative, and
    > anti-everybody else like much of texas, but about like nj. not as glamorous,
    > but not despondent. i grew up near there.
    >
    >
    > anyway, seems like nobody HAS to send their work to the mid-west, we choose
    > to (or we choose agents who choose to, etc) but the view of what is decent
    > policy for art will be different there. what we see as a shocking breach,
    > they wouldn't think twice about. this issue is probably somewhere in
    > between.
    >
    > here, art museums can give more "rights" to the artists and their work and
    > say "sorry" to investors. not on all occasions, but often. it's seen as
    > integrity. there, they just don't do that. investors come first, and
    > artists are way down the list of concerns. "artistic integrity" (as we
    > define it) might get a laugh. no doubt, this museum was afraid of pissing
    > off investors.
    >
    >
    > but more importantly, it's a cultural difference. here (and i don't mean
    > just ny, but metropolises where art is gets taken more seriously), there
    > isn't nearly as much compromise as acceptance. you don't see hamburgers on a
    > menu in an indian restaurant. there, people tend to try to accommodate
    > everyone with compromises. something for everyone.
    >
    > and that's exactly what this sounds like. folks angry about only seeing one
    > side of an issue are appeased by seeing 2. i don't agree and probably no one
    > on this list does either. but we'd be members of a minority mind-set there.
    > we have an unspoken "respect" for art, that just isn't universal.
    >
    >
    > we can choose to send works into that disrespectful zone, the mid-west, where
    > they don't follow our rules. we can shrug and accept their reactions or just
    > not send any there. we could also complain that they don't speak english
    > enough in bangladesh.
    >
    > judsoN
    > --
    >
    > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    >
    > PLASMA STUDII
    > art non-profit
    > stages * galleries * the web
    > New York, USA
    >
    > (on-line press kit)
    > http://plasmastudii.org
    >
    >
    > +
    > -> post: list@rhizome.org
    > -> questions: info@rhizome.org
    > -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    > -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    > -> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
    > +
    > Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    > Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >
    >
  • Plasma Studii | Tue Dec 14th 2004 1:22 p.m.
    >>you don't see hamburgers on a menu in an indian restaurant.
    >
    >i don't know... right down the street from me (in LA) is a
    >restaurant that offers burgers, burritos and Thai food. ;)

    ryan,
    hahaha. you're right about that. actually i think a memory was
    lurking from my childhood. there was a place in Laguna Beach (near
    LA) that had a menu like you describe, but think it was spaghetti at
    a mexican place.. come to think of it LA seems to be a big flaw in
    my theory. LA is like a cultural soup that hasn't been stirred much.
    isn't homogenized. i don't doubt you speak a lot more spanish than
    me. maybe it's just an east coast attitude and not as ubiquitous as
    i thought.

    (oops sent joy half a reply, sorry)
    >sorry, that's like saying: it's okay in the mid-west that they don't
    >respect the First Amendment since they are religios and cannibals
    >out there -- I mean, "our rules"? really now. I suppose the KKK
    >didn't really follow "our rules" either.

    not until the country pretty much agreed on some rules (like all out
    bigotry), did the KKK stop being such a frightful menace. i'm sure
    the KKK still exists out there, but that's not an "our rules" their
    rules thing. we pretty much have come to a consensus. but you won't
    see burning crosses in wichita.

    the first amendment is a shifty example. it's kinda like if you
    served red whine with fish. if you were the caterer, it could cost
    your job, and that might really jeopardize your family, etc. so it
    becomes significant. takes on one interpretation.

    the starving guy would hardly notice, and it would be interpreted
    differently, a very different significance.
  • joy garnett | Tue Dec 14th 2004 1:26 p.m.
    Our rules" means the constitution; it's not about consensus,
    it's about whether or not THE rules are honored--enforced--or not. One
    country, one constitution, right?

    And so the ugly issues of separation of church and state and first
    amendment rights get all twisted and turned together here.

    On Tue, 14 Dec 2004, Plasma Studii - [iso-8859-1] uospn
  • MTAA | Tue Dec 14th 2004 1:30 p.m.
    This is just so far beyond bizarre it's not even funny.

    If they want to keep balance they should schedule a show of art that
    seems to be at odds with the themes of this show... why wouldn't that
    work?

    fight art with art - that's what I always say!

    beyond that, if the admins refuse to remove this BS the artist has no
    choice but to cancel the show.

    On Dec 14, 2004, at 2:54 PM, Joy Garnett wrote:

    > My *first* reaction was actually: *There are JEWS in Wichita?!* Okay,
    > wow.
    >
    > So I guess being Palestinian is even worse than being a jew in Wichita.
    >
    >
    >
    > On Tue, 14 Dec 2004, t.whid wrote:
    >
    >> THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS!!!
    >>
    >> I'm going to force a museum to allow my aesthetic opinion to be
    >> equally balanced the next time I see something I don't like in a
    >> gallery or museum.
    >>
    >> BLUE! I HATE BLUE! I demand space in the gallery for my opinion to be
    >> heard!
    >>
    >> It's absolutely ridiculous. The admins of this so-called art
    >> institution should be ashamed of themselves.
    >>
    >> On Dec 14, 2004, at 1:00 PM, Plasma Studii wrote:
    >>
    >>> while this would be outrageous in new york, this is in wichita.
    >>> ever been there? it's actually not totally freaky proudly
    >>> conservative, and anti-everybody else like much of texas, but about
    >>> like nj. not as glamorous, but not despondent. i grew up near
    >>> there.
    >>> anyway, seems like nobody HAS to send their work to the mid-west, we
    >>> choose to (or we choose agents who choose to, etc) but the view of
    >>> what is decent policy for art will be different there. what we see
    >>> as a shocking breach, they wouldn't think twice about. this issue
    >>> is probably somewhere in between.
    >>> here, art museums can give more "rights" to the artists and their
    >>> work and say "sorry" to investors. not on all occasions, but often.
    >>> it's seen as integrity. there, they just don't do that. investors
    >>> come first, and artists are way down the list of concerns.
    >>> "artistic integrity" (as we define it) might get a laugh. no doubt,
    >>> this museum was afraid of pissing off investors.
    >>> but more importantly, it's a cultural difference. here (and i don't
    >>> mean just ny, but metropolises where art is gets taken more
    >>> seriously), there isn't nearly as much compromise as acceptance.
    >>> you don't see hamburgers on a menu in an indian restaurant. there,
    >>> people tend to try to accommodate everyone with compromises.
    >>> something for everyone.
    >>> and that's exactly what this sounds like. folks angry about only
    >>> seeing one side of an issue are appeased by seeing 2. i don't agree
    >>> and probably no one on this list does either. but we'd be members
    >>> of a minority mind-set there. we have an unspoken "respect" for
    >>> art, that just isn't universal.
    >>> we can choose to send works into that disrespectful zone, the
    >>> mid-west, where they don't follow our rules. we can shrug and
    >>> accept their reactions or just not send any there. we could also
    >>> complain that they don't speak english enough in bangladesh.
    >>> judsoN
    >>> --
    >>
    >> ===
    >>> <twhid>http://www.mteww.com</twhid>
    >> ===
    >>
    >>
    >> +
    >> -> post: list@rhizome.org
    >> -> questions: info@rhizome.org
    >> -> subscribe/unsubscribe:
    >> http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    >> -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    >> -> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
    >> +
    >> Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    >> Membership Agreement available online at
    >> http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >>
    >>
    > +
    > -> post: list@rhizome.org
    > -> questions: info@rhizome.org
    > -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    > -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
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    > +
    > Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    > Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >
    >
    >

    ===
    <twhid>http://www.mteww.com</twhid>
    ===
  • Rob Myers | Tue Dec 14th 2004 1:50 p.m.
    On 14 Dec 2004, at 20:27, t.whid wrote:

    > If they want to keep balance they should schedule a show of art that
    > seems to be at odds with the themes of this show... why wouldn't that
    > work?

    Indeed. Freedom of speech doesn't mean talking over someone, it means
    finding another podium.

    "Balance", however, is a *tactic*. It's how creationism got into
    science classes. Notice that religion classes aren't enough to provide
    balance, the stickers have to be on science books.

    Embrace this.

    Demand that balance be respected in all walks of life.

    Let challenging art be shown alongside landscapes, in the name of
    balance. Let Scientology and Aum Shrinko be taught alongside the
    gospels at school, to provide balance. And let freedom be given a place
    alongside repression. Just in the name of balance, of course.

    - Rob.
  • joy garnett | Tue Dec 14th 2004 2:05 p.m.
    the crazy thing is that Emily's show is not polemical (did anyone here
    see it when it was at Debs in 2003?); otoh I just checked out
    the website for the Jewish Federation of Kansas which is wildly
    right-wing, pro-Bush. so it is perhaps more of a political pressure on the
    museum than a "religious" one, if that distinction can still be made...

    On Tue, 14 Dec 2004, t.whid wrote:

    > This is just so far beyond bizarre it's not even funny.
    >
    > If they want to keep balance they should schedule a show of art that seems to
    > be at odds with the themes of this show... why wouldn't that work?
    >
    > fight art with art - that's what I always say!
    >
    > beyond that, if the admins refuse to remove this BS the artist has no choice
    > but to cancel the show.
    >
    >
    > On Dec 14, 2004, at 2:54 PM, Joy Garnett wrote:
    >
    >> My *first* reaction was actually: *There are JEWS in Wichita?!* Okay, wow.
    >>
    >> So I guess being Palestinian is even worse than being a jew in Wichita.
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> On Tue, 14 Dec 2004, t.whid wrote:
    >>
    >>> THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS!!!
    >>>
    >>> I'm going to force a museum to allow my aesthetic opinion to be equally
    >>> balanced the next time I see something I don't like in a gallery or
    >>> museum.
    >>>
    >>> BLUE! I HATE BLUE! I demand space in the gallery for my opinion to be
    >>> heard!
    >>>
    >>> It's absolutely ridiculous. The admins of this so-called art institution
    >>> should be ashamed of themselves.
    >>>
    >>> On Dec 14, 2004, at 1:00 PM, Plasma Studii wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> while this would be outrageous in new york, this is in wichita. ever
    >>>> been there? it's actually not totally freaky proudly conservative,
    >>>> and anti-everybody else like much of texas, but about like nj. not as
    >>>> glamorous, but not despondent. i grew up near there.
    >>>> anyway, seems like nobody HAS to send their work to the mid-west, we
    >>>> choose to (or we choose agents who choose to, etc) but the view of
    >>>> what is decent policy for art will be different there. what we see as
    >>>> a shocking breach, they wouldn't think twice about. this issue is
    >>>> probably somewhere in between.
    >>>> here, art museums can give more "rights" to the artists and their work
    >>>> and say "sorry" to investors. not on all occasions, but often. it's
    >>>> seen as integrity. there, they just don't do that. investors come
    >>>> first, and artists are way down the list of concerns. "artistic
    >>>> integrity" (as we define it) might get a laugh. no doubt, this museum
    >>>> was afraid of pissing off investors.
    >>>> but more importantly, it's a cultural difference. here (and i don't
    >>>> mean just ny, but metropolises where art is gets taken more
    >>>> seriously), there isn't nearly as much compromise as acceptance. you
    >>>> don't see hamburgers on a menu in an indian restaurant. there, people
    >>>> tend to try to accommodate everyone with compromises. something for
    >>>> everyone.
    >>>> and that's exactly what this sounds like. folks angry about only
    >>>> seeing one side of an issue are appeased by seeing 2. i don't agree
    >>>> and probably no one on this list does either. but we'd be members of
    >>>> a minority mind-set there. we have an unspoken "respect" for art,
    >>>> that just isn't universal.
    >>>> we can choose to send works into that disrespectful zone, the
    >>>> mid-west, where they don't follow our rules. we can shrug and accept
    >>>> their reactions or just not send any there. we could also complain
    >>>> that they don't speak english enough in bangladesh.
    >>>> judsoN
    >>>> --
    >>>
    >>> ===
    >>>> <twhid>http://www.mteww.com</twhid>
    >>> ===
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> +
    >>> -> post: list@rhizome.org
    >>> -> questions: info@rhizome.org
    >>> -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    >>> -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    >>> -> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
    >>> +
    >>> Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    >>> Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >>>
    >>>
    >> +
    >> -> post: list@rhizome.org
    >> -> questions: info@rhizome.org
    >> -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    >> -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    >> -> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
    >> +
    >> Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    >> Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >
    > ===
    > <twhid>http://www.mteww.com</twhid>
    > ===
    >
    >
    > +
    > -> post: list@rhizome.org
    > -> questions: info@rhizome.org
    > -> subscribe/unsubscribe: http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    > -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    > -> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
    > +
    > Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    > Membership Agreement available online at http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    >
    >
  • MTAA | Tue Dec 14th 2004 2:16 p.m.
    Rob,

    Agree completely.

    Does balance extend to neo-nazis, the KKK, and holocaust-deniers
    getting fair time at Holocaust museums worldwide?

    The answer is no of course, but logically this is where this precedent
    would lead!

    again, TOTALLY OUTRAGEOUS AND UNACCEPTABLE!

    On Dec 14, 2004, at 3:50 PM, Rob Myers wrote:

    > On 14 Dec 2004, at 20:27, t.whid wrote:
    >
    >> If they want to keep balance they should schedule a show of art that
    >> seems to be at odds with the themes of this show... why wouldn't that
    >> work?
    >
    > Indeed. Freedom of speech doesn't mean talking over someone, it means
    > finding another podium.
    >
    > "Balance", however, is a *tactic*. It's how creationism got into
    > science classes. Notice that religion classes aren't enough to provide
    > balance, the stickers have to be on science books.
    >
    > Embrace this.
    >
    > Demand that balance be respected in all walks of life.
    >
    > Let challenging art be shown alongside landscapes, in the name of
    > balance. Let Scientology and Aum Shrinko be taught alongside the
    > gospels at school, to provide balance. And let freedom be given a
    > place alongside repression. Just in the name of balance, of course.
    >
    > - Rob.

    ===
    <twhid>http://www.mteww.com</twhid>
    ===
  • ryan griffis | Tue Dec 14th 2004 2:29 p.m.
    The "balance" tactic is definitely important to consider, and something
    i hadn't really recognized as such. though it should have been obvious
    with Fox's "Fair & Balanced" news. certainly, neoliberal/conservative
    cultural institutions have learned from past mistakes. The Guggenheim's
    censoring of Hans Haacke's work for example didn't work so well as a
    long term tactic of repression. I recently saw Gregg Brodowitz speak,
    and his analysis of "queer eye for the straight guy" was essentially
    that it promoted tolerance to the degree that straight guys "shouldn't
    kill their hair dresser."
    It seems that other interests, like religious fundamentalism, are
    figuring this out too. Framing and co-opting, or "balancing," seems a
    much more successful method of setting the agenda. It's easier to
    demonize something if you can point to it.
    But perhaps Lee's right... maybe "balance" it can be reappropriated.
  • MTAA | Tue Dec 14th 2004 2:38 p.m.
    my letter

    ++++++++

    Mr. David Butler,

    I'm writing to express my outrage that you are allowing the The Jewish
    Federation of Kansas to post brochures and a sign in the gallery to
    express their views on Middle Eastern politics in conjunction with Ms.
    Jacir's exhibition "Where We Come From."

    I agree with Ms. Jacir:

    "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 museum."

    You are treading on a very slippery slope. If you were to exhibit work
    of a gay artist would you allow right-wing christians to display
    brochures and posters beside the exhibition explaining how gays are
    abominations? If it was an exhibition of Jewish artists would you allow
    neo-nazis or the KKK to express their views? These may sound like
    ridiculous speculations, but that is where this twisted logic leads.

    I urge you to resist this pressure and allow artists' voices to be
    heard in a neutral context. Do not allow special interest groups to
    take over your museum in their wrong-headed pursuit of "balance."

    ++++++++

    On Dec 14, 2004, at 4:05 PM, Joy Garnett wrote:

    > the crazy thing is that Emily's show is not polemical (did anyone here
    > see it when it was at Debs in 2003?); otoh I just checked out the
    > website for the Jewish Federation of Kansas which is wildly
    > right-wing, pro-Bush. so it is perhaps more of a political pressure on
    > the museum than a "religious" one, if that distinction can still be
    > made...
    >
    >

    ===
    <twhid>http://www.mteww.com</twhid>
    ===
  • Plasma Studii | Tue Dec 14th 2004 3:11 p.m.
    >"Our rules" means the constitution; it's not about consensus, it's
    >about whether or not THE rules are honored--enforced--or not. One
    >country, one constitution, right?

    supposedly, the constitution is a consensus. (arguably the
    constitution is really just a song rove sings in the shower).
    enforcement/honor is a lot different than seeing art the same way
    though.

    >And so the ugly issues of separation of church and state and first
    >amendment rights get all twisted and turned together here.

    ok, but this isn't a religious issue per se. it's more fundamental.
    here art has more weight (to artists). economics, politics,
    religion, etc carry less weight. (obviously if there's a huge
    economic issue and small art issue, the $$$ wins, and that's
    happening more and more all the time).

    elsewhere art doesn't carry much weight at all. there are others who
    will say economics or whatever is fundamental, and art just doesn't
    warrant priority. they attend to much more important issues, than
    what they see as some ugly decoration by some flake who decides to
    use their wall as a bullhorn.

    nobody's arguing about the first amendment. this isn't a freedom of
    speech thing. they are still displaying her work. if anything the
    gallery could argue that the pamphleteers have a first amendment
    right to voice their counter-opinion.

    which is really the same thing as us deciding whether or not to let
    her voice be heard. allowing it, is also acknowledging she could
    come out and say something we don't like. but we agreed to it. we
    agree to that possibility when we hang the art. same as putting art
    in the mid-west, they may pull some neo-conservative bullshit we
    don't like, but we agreed to it. we agreed to that possibility when
    we sent the art.
  • Bart Woodstrup | Thu Dec 16th 2004 1:04 a.m.
    YO!

    Let up a little on the Mid-west! I know what you mean, but we all aren't that way out here! And by all means keep sending your art out here!!! Regardless of how a few fanatics act. I'm just a small town, white bread, farm boy, but thanks to some very giving teachers and artists (Mary Zerkel, Marjorie Franklin) I was able to see artwork that snapped me out of that mindset. NYC has some hang ups too (Guiliani).

    I think that this whole issue is an example of how much the artwork is "working" - we all know that this kind of attention usually helps an artist (I know who Joy is because of the Molotov issue). Don't they teach that in "Art Media Literacy 101"?

    Don't waste too much time protesting - send more art instead.

    bbw

    joy garnett wrote:

    > sorry, that's like saying: it's okay in the mid-west that they don't
    > respect the First Amendment since they are religios and cannibals out
    > there -- I mean, "our rules"? really now. I suppose the KKK didn't
    > really
    > follow "our rules" either.
    >
    >
    >
    > On Tue, 14 Dec 2004, Plasma Studii wrote:
    >
    > > while this would be outrageous in new york, this is in wichita.
    > ever been
    > > there? it's actually not totally freaky proudly conservative, and
    > > anti-everybody else like much of texas, but about like nj. not as
    > glamorous,
    > > but not despondent. i grew up near there.
    > >
    > >
    > > anyway, seems like nobody HAS to send their work to the mid-west, we
    > choose
    > > to (or we choose agents who choose to, etc) but the view of what is
    > decent
    > > policy for art will be different there. what we see as a shocking
    > breach,
    > > they wouldn't think twice about. this issue is probably somewhere
    > in
    > > between.
    > >
    > > here, art museums can give more "rights" to the artists and their
    > work and
    > > say "sorry" to investors. not on all occasions, but often. it's
    > seen as
    > > integrity. there, they just don't do that. investors come first,
    > and
    > > artists are way down the list of concerns. "artistic integrity" (as
    > we
    > > define it) might get a laugh. no doubt, this museum was afraid of
    > pissing
    > > off investors.
    > >
    > >
    > > but more importantly, it's a cultural difference. here (and i don't
    > mean
    > > just ny, but metropolises where art is gets taken more seriously),
    > there
    > > isn't nearly as much compromise as acceptance. you don't see
    > hamburgers on a
    > > menu in an indian restaurant. there, people tend to try to
    > accommodate
    > > everyone with compromises. something for everyone.
    > >
    > > and that's exactly what this sounds like. folks angry about only
    > seeing one
    > > side of an issue are appeased by seeing 2. i don't agree and
    > probably no one
    > > on this list does either. but we'd be members of a minority
    > mind-set there.
    > > we have an unspoken "respect" for art, that just isn't universal.
    > >
    > >
    > > we can choose to send works into that disrespectful zone, the
    > mid-west, where
    > > they don't follow our rules. we can shrug and accept their
    > reactions or just
    > > not send any there. we could also complain that they don't speak
    > english
    > > enough in bangladesh.
    > >
    > > judsoN
    > > --
    > >
    > > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    > >
    > > PLASMA STUDII
    > > art non-profit
    > > stages * galleries * the web
    > > New York, USA
    > >
    > > (on-line press kit)
    > > http://plasmastudii.org
    > >
    > >
    > > +
    > > -> post: list@rhizome.org
    > > -> questions: info@rhizome.org
    > > -> subscribe/unsubscribe:
    > http://rhizome.org/preferences/subscribe.rhiz
    > > -> give: http://rhizome.org/support
    > > -> visit: on Fridays the Rhizome.org web site is open to non-members
    > > +
    > > Subscribers to Rhizome are subject to the terms set out in the
    > > Membership Agreement available online at
    > http://rhizome.org/info/29.php
    > >
    > >
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