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Pennsylvania Catholic Group Protests Wojnarowicz Film outside Brooklyn Museum

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Spring Grove,  Penn. group American Society for Tradition, Family and Property wants the Brooklyn Museum to pull a David Wojnarowicz film from its 'HIDE/SEEK' show. The Spring Grove, Penn. group American Society for Tradition, Family and Property wants the Brooklyn Museum to pull a David Wojnarowicz film from its 'HIDE/SEEK' show. (Abbie Fentress Swanson/WNYC)

On Sunday, some three dozen people protested the Brooklyn Museum's inclusion of David Wojnarowicz's film "A Fire in My Belly" in the museum's new show Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture.

The group prayed, sang hymns and held up signs that called "A Fire in My Belly" a "blasphemous depiction of Jesus Crucified" over 11 seconds in the video that depict ants crawling on a crucifix.

A spokesperson for the protesters said that although Sunday's action had been organized by a Catholic group based in Spring Grove, Penn. called the American Society for Tradition, Family, and Property, many of the protesters were local.

Nicholas A. DiMarzio, the Catholic bishop of Brooklyn, has also called for the museum to pull "A Fire in My Belly" from the show.

Hide/Seek opened on Friday at the Brooklyn Museum and includes roughly 100 pieces that explore issues of gay sexuality and gender.

"The Brooklyn Museum is dedicated to the freedom of expression and education in the visual arts and to presenting differing views, which the Museum believes fosters greater understanding and tolerance," read a statement from the museum. "The video, 'A Fire in My Belly,' by the late artist, David Wojnarowicz, which is included in HIDE/SEEK, is an expression of the artist’s outrage at indifference to human suffering during the early years of the AIDS crisis."

Last year, the Smithsonian withdrew the Wojnarowicz video from Hide/Seek when the exhibition was installed at the National Portrait Gallery.

What do you think of the video? Please let us know by posting a comment below.

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Comments [4]

Maitiú from Amerika

Too bad there was no counter protest, particularly in light of the willingness of institutions like the Smithsonian to censor important art work to satisfy the religious right -- people whose moral code includes the persecution of gay people.

Dec. 18 2011 03:16 PM
John

Wonderful to see Catholics protesting these disgusting things! When will the hate against Christ stop?
Bravo

Nov. 22 2011 11:10 AM
TOJ from Brooklyn

This is a gross overreaction to an inconsequential and inoffensive snippet of footage by a fringe group.

They have a right to protest - They're just not protesting a depiction of any consequence. This demonstration would be baffling to the majority of Catholics. If they even knew about it.

Nov. 22 2011 05:35 AM
Daniel O'Hanlon from County Cork

It's great to see Catholics out in the public square, defending what's right. May many more follow their example!

Nov. 20 2011 11:06 PM

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