Blog / Local institutions engage Wojnarowicz controversy

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By Andrew

Inspired by the recent controversy at the National Portrait Gallery, which removed David Wojnarowicz’s “A Fire In My Belly” video from the exhibition Hide/Seek in November 2010, the Nasher Museum and the Ackland Art Museum are joining  to engage the public with the art and its issues.

The Ackland Art Museum is showing Wojnarowicz’s video “A Fire In My Belly.” The museum will be contextualizing its presentation of the video with news clippings outlining the controversy and presenting the 13-minute Wojnarowicz video alongside the edited version, which appeared at the National Portrait Gallery. Several events at UNC and the Ackland will further engage Wojnarowicz’s queer activism and death from AIDS.

The Ackland joins institutions such as the New Museum, SF MoMA, Tate Modern and the Walker Art Center (and Durham’s own Pinhook!) in showing the film, which was recently acquired by the Museum of Modern Art. PPOW Gallery, which represents the estate of Wojnarowicz, has both versions of the film available on its Vimeo site.

Engaging the questions of spirituality, corporeality and the Crucifix at stake, the Nasher Museum will present a small installation from its permanent collection entitled Body of Christ (January 27 – June 16, 2011) curated by Sarah Schroth, Nancy Hanks Senior Curator. The installation juxtaposes four works by contemporary Spanish artist Javier Pérez with Latin American and European renderings of the body of Christ from the 12th through 18th centuries. The works range from bloody and tortured renderings of Christ to triumphant depictions.

IMAGE: Javier Pérez, “Mascara Mortuoria” (detail), 2010. Watercolor. On loan from Blake Byrne, T’ 57.

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