Saturday, May 06, 2006

Contacts

Below is a list of people to contact for letters of complaint, petition, etc.

Please voice your opinion and support us!

Provost Roberta Matthews:
rsmatthews@brooklyn.cuny.edu
718-951-5864
3133 Boylan Hall
Brooklyn College
2900 Bedford Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11210

Adrian Benepe, NYC parks commissioner:
http://nyc.gov/html/mail/html/maildpr.html
Tel: (212) 360-1305, Fax: (212) 360-1345
The Arsenal
Central Park
830 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10021

Julius Spiegel, Brooklyn Borough Commissioner:
(718) 965-8920
Litchfield Villa, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY 11215
Tel: (718) 965-8900. Fax: (718) 965-8989

Marty Markowitz, Brooklyn Borough President:
askmarty@brooklynbp.nyc.gov

Michael Bloomberg, New York City Mayor:
www.nyc.gov/html/mail/html/mayor.html

NYC Council:

for War Memorial Area:
yassky@council.nyc.ny.us

For Brooklyn College Area:
kendall stewart stewart@council.nyc.ny.us

US House of Representatives
Brooklyn College, 11th district:
major.owens@mail.house.gov

US Senators Schumer and Clinton:
http://www.congress.org/congressorg/officials/congress/?state=NY&azip=11210&lvl=C

16 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You cannot have artwork of a penis in a display where families might visit it. If closing the exhibit is what it takes to send you the message, so be it.

10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if your kids or families don't know what a penis looks like thats your fault and all the families fault. DO you tell your son to close his eyes when he takes a leak?

10:59 AM  
Anonymous rosemary said...

OH right the body is offensive!!!!!! and needs to be censored ,but when millions of people around the world visit museums and churches WITH THEIR KIDS and see the nude bodies of women in works by Picasso, Carravagio, Matisse and on and on its a work of art. So as long as kids know that women are allowed to be docile submissive sexualized art objects its okay but as soon as people male and female create work to question this and to confront the inequities of it thats Wrong?? and needs be CENSORED..!!!??? Please re evaluate your VALUES and stop being so scared of confronting sexuality.

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Students: Prepare for attacks like these.

It will get worse. In any culture or space war like this, the kinds of voices who will chime in are almost predictable. Don't let it divert your attention from the fact that this is about freedom of expression.

So what exactly is predictable, given the fact that these public struggles over art and expression follow such a standard script?

1) Pretty soon you'll hear the voices of those who will contort themselves crazy about the importance of the first amndement but who will suggest that the war memorial location is a special case. Well it IS a special sacred place, but THEY were the ones who let you use it. You didn't force your way into the memorial. They just didnt like what you did.

2) Then will come the out and vicious attacks from the right, some of whose nuttier members will claim that putting this at the war memorial is the equivalent of peeing on the grave of a veteran. And they'll play rough. And the penis sculpture will take center stage. Nothing like a penis to scare people, huh?

3) And you'll hear from the so-called lefties.

Watch for them to borrow from my copy of "12 Pre-Written Scripts for Use in a Culture War," and I quote from page 54: "The first amendment is a cornerstone of our society. And I'm sure that (fill in the Brooklyn College students) are well intentioned, if naive and pedestrian about art. But why is it that every time we are asked to defend the first amendment it is about some juvenile art that always has a penis or a breast or feces? Ill stand with legitimate expression, but for this kind of crap." Yada yada, yada.

4) Then the politicians will sit down with you, maybe just an aide, and go into a speech about free expression that would have Thomas Jefferson stand up and applaud. Smile, be courteous. And don't pay a damn bit of attention. Watch their subsequent actions.

Look for concrete evidence that any Brooklyn council member like Yassky whose district includes those with fundamentalist beliefs ACTUALLY goes out and defends you with concrete actions. Id love to eat my words.

5) Then watch the Brooklyn College administration. They really are in a tough spot. They will not get much if any suppoort for taking a free expression stand from 80th Street. The culture war handbook calls for them to try to play both sides....keep you happy, convince you that they believe in free expression (which THEY actually do!!)but also go into meetings with the officials, close the door and rail against the "kids these days that see a penis sculpture as art."

I am not unsympathetic to their position in a city where the odor of Giuliani repression still wafts over the city.

BUT THEIR JOB IN THIS CASE IS CLEAR: TO DEFEND YOU AND YOUR RIGHTS.

Let them know that you know they are in a tough position but that you insist on their support.

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I strongly believe that all visual artwork should be kept in public when on display.
If whatever was displayed was pretty offensive in terms of the general public, then I suggest that maybe it the display should be moved to an area where a warning could be displayed to warn the public about "offensive" content.

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The issue here is not that penises are un-family friendly. That notion is senseless. Penises make families- without penises there would be no families. Besides, kids love fiddling with their penises- they are neat.

I believe that the core issue here is that penises are kind of ugly. The majority of taxpayers seem to agree. This is why we are not having the same discussion about breasts and vaginas. Clearly most taxpayers agree that breasts and vaginas are nice to look at.

Still, just because the majority of taxpayers think something is ugly does not mean it should be censored. Sure, in a couple million years the fellas will evolved to have pretty organs down there but right now we're just going to have to suck it up and accept that every once in a while we’re going to come across an ugly penis.

I have this friend David and he has an extremely ugly face but a surprisingly handsome penis- one of the nicest I have ever seen. I personally would rather see a portrait of his penis that a portrait of his face in a memorial. However, regardless of what I would rather see, I would not be audacious enough to suggest that a portrait of his face does not belong where families may potentially visit. I may not like it, but if some artist wants to show that darn ugly mug of his, then perhaps it could bring some good into this world.

9:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do you people always have to push your gay agenda? Less then 2% of the population is gay and you seem to think that the rest of us care about this disorder. What is next, Pedophile rights? I am worried about the tactics used by this movement, using discrimination laws as a smoke screen. Please stop.

7:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To anonymous, the Gay Agenda you percieve is your insecurity. You can take your jesse helms, trent lott, and Ku Klux Klan agenda and move to the moon. Go shove your discriminatory comments and ignorant comments up your ass.

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that penis sculpture can be offensive, but only if the penis is portrayed to be larger than one's own penis. If, on the other hand, we are with our new girlfriend, who has already pointed out thet "you have a small one," and then, right in front of you, hanging on a wall, is a cast of a student's much smaller penis, then you turn to your girlfriend and say, "BoooYAh!"

4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To gay anonymous, You people get very nasty when you hear a different option. Homosexuality is not a choice, it is a disorder. It should not be celebrated, It should de dealt with.

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the person with the disorder is you. it's called prejudice. or maybe hate. or maybe chronic homophobia. or maybe hate.

12:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does this have to come down to homosexuality? I believe the penis artist, according to the press, is a straight white male who bropught his child to the show.

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 9:46
if you are so concerned about homosexuals what the hell are you doing in nyc? why don't you move to a bible thumping red state and enjoy the company of people who share your dis-ease, homophobia.

12:59 PM  
Blogger Hazel said...

Let me start by saying that the only thing I know about being gay is that I am not gay. ANYTHING else I could possibly say about being gay is pure speculation.

As far as the art exhibit goes, I have a six year old-daughter. She knows that penises and vulvas are used to make babies (and that's it for now). She also knows that it's not polite to grab your penis or vulva in public. We've seen several nude statues and she knows mommy's favorite painting is Cupid & Psyche (where both are nude and in bed), I have a reproduction of Rivera's Nude with Callas hanging over the mantle; that is considered nudity in our home and it's acceptable. I don't want her thinking that a man grabbing his erect penis or a woman displaying her vagina (or paintings of it) in public is art. At 6, she's too young to embrace the concept of artistic value, and if someone were to expose their genitals to her, I don't want her to think "it's art". It is more important at her age to learn about modesty. While there are opportunities to instill a healthy attitude toward her sexuality (and sexuality in general), it is very limited at her age. She's not mature enough to understand the entire concept, as she still she thinks that kissing is gross, and that genitals and genital-related activities (farts, poop, pee) are funny.

I explain to my child that some women prefer to kiss other women and the some men prefer to kiss other men and that it's okay, but some people don't think it's okay because it's not what most people do. She knows that that sort of attitude is NOT okay because no one is in a position to judge another person's decisions or feelings. I also teach her that people who touch each other's "special places" in public (i.e. make out) is rude and inappropriate. There is a time and place for everything, and a park bench is not the place to get it on in broad daylight. A child doesn't posess the mental faculties to understand the full scope of mature sexuality or paintings of it.

All told, if my kid was 13 or 14 and capable of handling the mature content, we might go see something like this and and discuss why it is considered art to some and pornography to others. But she's not, and we're from Cleveland anyway.

3:14 PM  
Anonymous Jessica Gordon said...

Today is a very sad day for me. I have been planing a trip to New York for months to see this show. The final hurdle that my sister, Pamela Gordon, needs to take in order to achieve a goal that she has been reaching for more than a decade. Now because of ignorance and resistance to experience Art in it’s true form, I may have to miss her shining moment. One, that I was so excited to experience with Pamela, by her side.

Who’s job is it to say what can be and can not be labeled as Art. Art is an expression of one’s self or emotions. It’s a language.

If you found it offensive, that is only one interpretation of the presentation. If you found it offensive, look the other way and go to the next piece. The problem with the offended people is that they are afraid to “feel” and experience all of the emotions that come along with the pieces themselves.

Re-open the show so that all of these talented, young artists can share with you their labor of love, hate and everything that emerged onto their canvases. This is their Job. This is what they were all born to do. Who gives you the right to deny them that?

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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1:12 AM  

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