Two weeks ago I had the pleasure to attend a lecture by Jonathan Katz, art historian, curator and professor at the University of Buffalo about his exhibition “Hide/Seek – Difference and Desire in American Portraiture” and censorship in US museums, which he helt in conjunction with the Mapplethorpe movie series at c/o Berlin. “Hide/Seek” was shown at the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution in Washington until February 13 and revisited the history of American art from perspective of sexual difference and gender identity. It gained a lot of attention after the museum decided to remove David Wojnarowicz film “Fire In My Belly” after threats by conservative politicians. Katz himself had edited the 4-minute-version of the film shown at Smithsonian. I was really amazed about openly he spoke about the censorship, but also about how clearly he explained the pieces of art shown in conjuntion with “Hide/Seek”. This is why I was glad to find out that even though the exhibition is already finished on the YouTube site of the National Portrait Gallery you still have the possibility to watch a tour through the exhibition by Katz and his co-curator David C. Ward, Historian of the museum. The tour officially starts with an introduction by Katz, but here I’ll post his discussion of two portraits by Felix Gonzalez-Torres and David Wojnarowicz (picture on top) dealing with AIDS, which although kind of old-school-didactical and short are pretty insightful. Click here for an overview of all available videos of the tour.
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