Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Brooklyn College Faculty Vote in Favor of Students’ Rights to Freedom of Expression and Against Censorship

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For press inquiries, please contact:
Marni Kotak
marnikotak@yahoo.com
917-692-1938

Brooklyn College Faculty Vote in Favor of Students’ Rights to Freedom of Expression and Against Censorship

Deplores Actions of NYC Parks Department to Censor Work and Brooklyn College Administration to Remove Work Without Students’ Permission

NEW YORK (May 9, 2006, 7:30PM) This afternoon at a meeting of the Brooklyn College Faculty Council, the council voted by a landslide in favor of a resolution supporting the MFA students’ right to freedom of expression, and deploring the recent actions of the NYC Parks Department to censor the students’ work, and the Brooklyn College Administration to remove the students’ work without their permission.

The governing body of the entire faculty of Brooklyn College convened today from 3:30 to 5:00pm, and voted 58 in favor, 10 against, and 6 abstentions, on the following resolution:

Resolution Addressed to the Brooklyn Parks Department, The Brooklyn College Administration, and the Mayor of New York City:

That we, the Brooklyn College Faculty, deplore that students' art work was recently removed by the Brooklyn College Administration, that we deplore this act of censorship of artwork on the part of the Parks Department, and we affirm students' rights to be involved in any decisions or actions related to their art work.

Yesterday, Civil rights attorney Norman Siegel, a 1965 graduate of Brooklyn College, announced that he would be representing the students in a lawsuit against the City of New York, the Parks Department and the Brooklyn College Administration on First Amendment grounds.

Sunday the students issued a statement expressing that the unilateral decision of Julius Spiegel, Brooklyn Borough Parks Commissioner, to shut down their thesis show “constitutes an act of censorship on the part of the NYC Parks Department.” Yesterday, beginning in the morning and continuing throughout the day, Brooklyn College workers at the Brooklyn War Memorial dismantled, damaged and moved student artwork locked within the space without the permission of the MFA students participating in the shut down thesis exhibition.

The student show, mounted as a graduation requirement for the Master of Fine Arts Degree at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, was suddenly shut down at about 3:30PM on Thursday, May 4, 2006, by Brooklyn Borough Parks Commissioner, Julius Spiegel, who deemed the work not “appropriate for families.” The artists in the exhibition include: Carla Aspenberg, Jill Auckenthaler, John Avelluto, Zoe Cohen, David Davron, Susan C. Dessel, Carl James Ferrero, Carrie Fucile, Pamela Gordon, Yejin Jun, Diane Kosup, Marni Kotak, Augusto Marin, Akiko Mori, Christopher Moss, Sarah Phillips, Megan Piontkowski and Tamas Veszi.

The exhibition was scheduled to be open through May 25th at the Brooklyn College Art Gallery at the Brooklyn War Memorial Building, Cadman Plaza, in downtown Brooklyn. For further information or to voice your support for the reopening of Plan B, visit http://plancensored.blogspot.com.

24 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It Figures, A bunch of Left Wing idiots and a Jew Lawyer.

8:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoy your freedom of expression, you anti semitic pig, while you still have it. The criminals and bigots you undoubtedly voted for will be taking it away from even you soon enough. Yes you, you schmuck...

11:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From The Numberer:

I told you your faculty would be outraged.

Next act?

The administration will now try to heal wounds and reaffirm their committment to free expression.

I actually am waiting on baited breath to see if their PR counsel will be able to write a better "lets get this behind us and move together as a community" memo than I could.

I think that going forward this should be a motto:

"Remember the Trucks of Monday; May 8, 2006"

7:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you students would be fools to trust anyone on that faculty.

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes,
These students who have been censored by their administration are some of the same students who have had to give legal depositions to faculty suing each other in the MFA department. Students hiring lawyers to protect themselves from faculty they have to take classes from. The lack of ethics within the department is abhorrent. Everyone should take a real close look at Brooklyn College.

10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it true that the MFA faculty have sued each other in the past?
It seems like the administration is the problem, not the faculty.

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have a good lawyer, BC faculty, and many BC students on your side. Hang in there.

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You also have another gallery space available to you at 70 Washington Street if you choose to
allow the college to move your artwork there for reinstallation. This is not in the best interests of your counsel, Mr. Seigel, so he is telling you not to accept the new offer. What you, the MFA students, get out of this is anyone's guess. You could have a new opening (with an exponential increase in publicity and exposure) in a more prominent space. If you refuse the offer of the new space, Mr. Seigel, a perennial candidate for public office, will get his name in the paper for a few more days. Is it really worth denying your art proper exposure for that?

11:39 AM  
Blogger artgirl said...

I am just now reading about what happened to the show and think it is awful. Art is meant to be talked about. The real problem is that people don't want to discuss what they see. Parents want to shield their children's eyes from artwork that they deem inappropriate. But the world we're living in is full of inappropriate things. I wish BC students the best of luck!

11:52 AM  
Blogger placeboKatz said...

ridiculous

alway amazing to see how much angst art still generates.
Beside a little note about the case in our blog we can offer you the space to show the video-works on our Directors Lounge television
http://monitoranimation.de/dltv/

If this is of interest contact us via the blog or Directors Lounge
http://kultur-in-berlin.de
Best,
from Team Directors Lounge

2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

let's not forget the sexual harrassment charges from (multiple) female students about male staff in the art department that have not been taken seriously by the (male) chair and administration!

someone should look at the whole can of worms.

2:10 PM  
Blogger PlanC said...

placeboKatz:

Thank you so much for your support and your offer!

Check your email!

All the best,
Plan C

2:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Numberer:

Not much more I can say guys. Hang in there and good luck.

4:01 PM  
Blogger Marcelo Daniel said...

This is absolutely outrageous! I am in NY visiting from Boston for my brother's graduation from the School of Visual Arts. David Rhodes, President of SVA, gave a speech at the commencent ceremony today about the events described on this website and gave the audience this URL. This was all news to me, and find it particularly alarming that this sort of censorship can go on in the premiere city of the arts. If we cannot express ourselves freely in New York City, then the state of our freedoms in the US is truly shaky.
Keep up the fight!

7:46 PM  
Blogger placeboKatz said...

@ Plan C
I dropped you a mail yesterday.
I only mention it as I have to use an gmx.net-mail that yahoo sometimes considers spam.
If you haven´t got my mail hop into the trash box :)

Best
pK

9:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So now we know that Brooklyn's PR Counsel is anonymously blogging to get you go along with the program (see below)

The statement they posted below, which I have attached, is simply too perfect a representation of what the admin would like you to do. The little gratuitous slap at Norman Siegel, who I neither know nor have ever supported for office, is clearly an attempt to divide the students from their counsel.

Not a day goes by that a situation that could have been quickly resolved is made worse.

Come back back, Christoph, dump the PR counsel who has tried unsuccessfully to import Giuliani hardball tactics to Brooklyn College ( Im begging you to fully appreciate the alienation they have created on a campus to which you have brought so much civility), and handle it the deft and sensitive way you handle almost everything else.

Here is the post probably written by someone affiliated with the PR cousel or the administration:

Anonymous said...
You also have another gallery space available to you at 70 Washington Street if you choose to
allow the college to move your artwork there for reinstallation. This is not in the best interests of your counsel, Mr. Seigel, so he is telling you not to accept the new offer. What you, the MFA students, get out of this is anyone's guess. You could have a new opening (with an exponential increase in publicity and exposure) in a more prominent space. If you refuse the offer of the new space, Mr. Seigel, a perennial candidate for public office, will get his name in the paper for a few more days. Is it really worth denying your art proper exposure for that?

11:39 AM

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brooklyn College should have lost it's student's trust a long time ago.

Don't deal with the college anymore. Who knows what type of BS you'd have to put up with if you "settle down" and the press goes away.

Where the hell is your damn artwork?

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vet

Finally someone has the backbone to do the right thing.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,195083,00.html

Let’s use these guys to clean the left wing colleges. Let’s fire these Marxist anti-American teachers and draft these dumb students into the Military.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with 10:21. That blog came from the administration. There should be no faculty talking wiht hte students and Siegel. They cannot be trusted either.

10:52 AM  
Blogger Jack Bennett said...

Just heard about the cancellation from someone on campus. Obviously no one from the admin. was going to announce it - even they were behind it.

What were they thinking? Its just a waste of time and money to cancel an art exhibit on such flimsy reasons. This really should be the top story on the next issues of the Kingsman and the Excelsior. Too bad its too near the end of the semester.

11:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wait a minute

has the exhib it been cancelled for good?

1:06 PM  
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