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BROOKLYN COLLEGE/CUNY MFA THESIS SHOW SHUT DOWN BY CITY
BROOKLYN PARKS COMMISSIONER CENSORS SHOW FOR SEXUAL CONTENT
NEW YORK (May 4, 2006) After a successful and well-attended opening last night, the Brooklyn College MFA thesis exhibition, Plan B, held at the Brooklyn War Memorial, was suddenly shut down this afternoon by the Brooklyn Borough Parks Commissioner because of complaints of sexual content.
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, apparently received complaints for explicit subject matter from one or more visitors to the May 3 opening, and was ordered immediately shut down by the Brooklyn Borough Parks Commissioner, Julius Spiegel. This came as a surprise to the students who have been working under the direction of Brooklyn College faculty in a program administered by the City of New York. The exhibition was even attended by the President and Provost of Brooklyn College, who reported that they enjoyed the show.
Today at approximately 3:30pm, MFA students Sarah Phillips, Yejin Jun and Christopher Moss, monitoring the exhibition at the Brooklyn War Memorial, were ordered by the Brooklyn War Memorial Building Supervisor to immediately leave the premises as a locksmith working for the Parks Department changed the locks and refused to allow the students to re-enter the space.
Locked within the space is the artwork of the program’s eighteen graduating artists, developed over two years of intensive graduate study. Each of the artists has invested thousands of hours of labor as well as the costs of for tuition and art supplies in developing the work presented in this thesis exhibition, the culmination of their graduate study. Some of the artists have even created large scale, site-specific works specifically for the exhibition, and would have to completely destroy the pieces in order to move them. A pet rat included in one of the installations is currently in need of food and in danger of starvation if the artist cannot get in to monitor her work and feed the animal.
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. The opening was held last night, May 3, from 6 to 9pm.