Posts written by Amanda Ryan
Late last Fall, the exhibition Hide/Seek opened at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, the first major museum exhibition to explore gay and lesbian identity in American art. One month into its run, conservative website CNS News wrote a scathing editorial about the show, focusing its attacks on David Wojnarowicz’s video piece A Fire in My Belly. The video’s montage of unsettling images expresses Wojnarowicz’s suffering as an AIDS victim and his anger at society for demonizing AIDS and refusing to help those in need. CNS decried one scene in particular, in which ants are shown crawling over a crucifix, as sacrilegious and intentionally offensive.
When Sherrie Levine debuted her famous series of photographs After Walker Evans at Metro Pictures in 1981, the pieces provoked outrage, confusion, and most importantly, conversation. In the series, Levine rephotographed Walker Evans’ iconic depression-era photographs, raising questions about authorship and context. How are Levine’s artworks distinct from the originals by Evans? Does the new context change their meaning?