Article run in the Brooklyn Eagle today
Busted at War Memorial
Sexual Content Closes
MFA Students Art Show
By Beth C. Aplin
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN -- Brooklyn College's Masters of Fine Arts
students were shocked to discover that their thesis exhibition at the
War Memorial Building at Cadman Plaza was shut down yesterday by
Brooklyn Parks Commissioner Julius Spiegel.
Marni Kotak, one of student artists, said the commissioner
closed the show in the early afternoon due its sexual content, and
locked the building preventing both the artists and the public from
gaining access to the work. The exhibition had its opening reception
Wednesday evening and was scheduled to continue through May 25.
"They said they would give us this weekend to get our stuff
out," said Kotak. " Brooklyn College has been exhibiting in this
building for a couple of years. They never told us there was a code we
had to follow."
Of the 18 students whose work on display, two had works
containing explicit sexual content: Augusto Marin's work featured
penises obscured by framed lightboxes, and Carl James Ferrero had
watercolors depicting graphic gay sexuality.
The War Memorial Building was dedicated in the early 1950s as a
memorial to World War II veterans. It contains the names of every WWII
veteran from Brooklyn who died. It has been sporadically used for many
Brooklyn College is part of the City University system, and
Kotak questioned the message that the Parks Department was
sending. If you go to City University, you have to be careful what
you show? Part of her installation, a recreation of an elementary
school classroom, included a pet rat in a glass enclosure.
The pet rat needs to be feed, or else it will die, she said,
adding that she hoped to gain access before the weekend.
A Parks Department spokesperson didn't return phone calls by
718 422 7435
fax 718 858 4483
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