Friday, May 05, 2006

Article from Crain's

Here is a link to an article on Crain's regarding the shut down of the exhibition.

Apparetly this was the decision of ONE person, the Brooklyn Parks Commissioner Julius Spiegel. It is important to him that the work "be suitable for families."

The article fails to mention that we, the students do not advocate moving the show back to Brooklyn College as there is NO space for us there and will not let it be moved without our permission.

Full text of the article is below:

Brooklyn College art exhibit shut over content
by David Jones

The Brooklyn Parks Commissioner shut down an exhibit at the Brooklyn College Art Gallery after receiving complaints about the sexual content of some of the works.

Commissioner Julius Spiegel ordered the exhibit -- located inside the Brooklyn War Memorial Building in Cadman Plaza -- shut down Thursday afternoon after deciding that the content violated an agreement with the college that all exhibits remain family friendly.

"It’s important to the commissioner that the work be suitable for families," said Warner Johnston, spokesman for the Parks Department.

The Plan B exhibit, part of graduate requirements for the Masters of Fine Arts program, featured works from 18 graduate students whose works ranged from watercolor, sculpture, video and performance art, according to Marni Kotak, participating artist and spokeswoman for the exhibit.

Ms. Kotak says that three graduate students who were monitoring the exhibits, which included a watercolor featureing gay male sexuality and a sculpture of penises in a lightbox, were ordered to leave the premises and were locked out of the building on Thursday.

The exhibit had been approved by Brooklyn College faculty and the Wednesday night opening was attended by the president and Brooklyn College Provost Roberta Matthews. "The faculty knew ahead of time what was going to be in the exhibit," said Ms. Kotak. Still, Brooklyn College has opted to move the exhibit rather than fight the shutdown.

"In keeping with the public nature of the space, as well as its position as an honored war memorial, Brooklyn College has respectfully decided to move the entire student exhibit to our campus," said Ms. Matthews in a statement.

When asked if any other city officials were consulted prior to the shutdown, Mr. Johnston insisted that the commissioner "made the decision on his own."


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