Arts Roundup: Belly Ablaze Edition
Seek and You Shall Find: "Hide/Seek," the exhibition of queer-themed artwork that was censored by the Smithsonian's secretary last year, has opened a year later at the Brooklyn Museum, more or less without incident—a fact that says a lot about rapidly evolving cultural attitudes toward gay and lesbian art, writes Philip Kennicott in the Washington Post. Although some Catholics in New York mounted a letter-writing campaign, the Brooklyn Museum stood by the exhibition and its most controversial inclusion, the video "A Fire in My Belly" by the late artist David Wojnarowicz, which includes brief footage of a crucifix covered in ants to symbolize the agony of AIDS. Back at home, reports the Post's Jacqueline Trescott, Smithsonian officials have examined their actions of last year and decided they need to be more deliberate and transparent—never mind that Smithsonian Secretary G. Wayne Clough says he made the right decision. Also, read Washington City Paper contributor Kriston Capps on local arts organizations' responses to "Hide/Seek" a year after the affair.
Pole Position: Several artists have submitted proposals to design a totem pole at the corner of Good Hope Road and Martin Luther King Ave. Jr. in Anacostia, reports the Post. The public art project, which is being administered by the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, is at the site of a decaying wall that once housed pictures of victims of violence.
Today on Arts Desk: Manon Cleary, rest in peace.