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Pennsylvania Catholic Group Protests Wojnarowicz Film outside Brooklyn Museum
Sunday, November 20, 2011
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.
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