The National Portrait Gallery’s latest exhibit, “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture,” casts the history of American art through a queer lens, challenging our assumptions about what/how art means.
The show is not a reductive look at “gay” art but rather a look at how artists navigate around a complex set of codes that govern sexual expression, how they circumvent and/or use these codes to express their own silenced desires, how they’ve dealt with love and loss when AIDS ravaged the community, and how (more recently) artists complicate society’s imperative to identify as “gay/lesbian.”
The show is under serious attack from the right. They demanded that a video by David Wojnarowicz be removed, and the museum caved with an hour. Almost 20 years after his death, Wojnarowicz is still being silenced! And now there is a good chance the entire show will be pulled.
The National Portrait Gallery has a responsibility to show this important exhibit. We are calling on the Executive Direction of NPG to publicly defend this exhibit and guarantee that museum visitors will be able to see this ground-breaking collection of work.
For NPG Director Marty Sullivan’s statement on “Hide/Seek” see our website: http://www.npg.si.edu/docs/hide-seek-statment.pdfPosted 2010-12-01 19:12:38 UTC