the arts

Andy Warhol Foundation Will Cancel Its $100K Smithsonian Check Over Yanked ‘AIDS Jesus’ Video Work

If the Smithsonian wants to yank David Wojnarowicz’s 1987 video work “Fire in My Belly” from its Hide/Seek queer art exhibit because some conservative hate leaders and elected officials didn’t want to see ants crawling over an AIDS-stricken Jesus, then they can do so without Andy Warhol’s money. The late artist’s eponymous foundation will pull its $100,000 donation to the Hide/Seek museum exhibit, along with its regular contributions. Thank goodness dead fags are willing to stand up for what’s right, eh?

And it looks like losing the support of the Andy Warhol Foundation ain’t no thang:

In a letter sent on Monday to the head of the Smithsonian, G. Wayne Clough, Joel Wachs, the president of the Warhol Foundation, said that the foundation’s board voted unanimously on Friday to demand that the Smithsonian restore the work, an excerpt of a video by the artist David Wojnarowicz, to the exhibition or the foundation would reject any future grant requests.

“I regret that you have put us in this position, but there is no other course we can take,” Mr. Wachs wrote in the letter, which the foundation also sent to news organizations. “For the arts to flourish the arts must be free, and the decision to censor this important work is in stark opposition to our mission to defend freedom of expression wherever and whenever it is under attack.”

A spokeswoman for the Smithsonian, Linda St. Thomas, said that she did not know if Mr. Clough had seen the letter yet, but “as far as I know we are not putting the video back and we are not changing anything else in the exhibition.”