The Washington Post reports that Canadian artist AA Bronson has asked the National Portrait Gallery to remove a major work of his to be withdrawn from the Smithsonian exhibition, “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture.”
The request is a protest of the removal of a controversial video by the late artist David Wojnarowicz that included 11 seconds of footage of a Crucifix crawling with ants. The work by Bronson is a mural-size color photograph titled “Felix, June 5, 1994”, showing the corpse of the artist’s partner Felix Partz, lying in bed only minutes or hours after his death caused by AIDS.
“As an artist who saw first hand the tremendous agony and pain that so many of my generation lived through, and died with, I cannot take the decision of the Smithsonian lightly. To edit queer history in this way is hurtful and disrespectful,” the artist wrote in an email to Martin Sullivan, the director of the National Portrait Gallery.
The Post reported is a separate item that objections to the work removed initially from two powerful Republicans, John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Eric Cantor (R-Va.), and noted the Congress controls 70 percent of the Smithsonian’s budget.
See the article in the Washington Post.