The National Portrait Gallery's exhibition Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture, which closed last month in D.C., made national news for all the wrong reasons: David Wojnarowicz's 1987 video A Fire in My Belly was removed to appease complaints by Christian groups offended by its imagery of ants crawling on a crucifix. The exhibition was, by many accounts, very, very good, and now two other museums—the Tacoma Art Museum and our own Brooklyn Museum—are looking to reassemble it, Wojnarowicz video included.
ArtsBeat reported on Friday that the exhibition could come to the Brooklyn Museum before the end of the year, and travel to Tacoma in 2012. Officials at both museums are absolutely committed to including the Wojnarowicz video, which was shown for free by galleries and institutions around the country following its removal by the Smithsonian Institute.
In New York the New Museum screened the video in its lobby, MoMA became the first museum to acquire it for its permanent collection, and Chelsea's PPOW Gallery, which represents Wojnarowicz's estate, made the video available online. PPOW, incidentally, has an excellent mini-retrospective of Wojnarowicz's work on view through April 9.
Confirmation and dates for Hide/Seek's Brooklyn Museum presentation are still a long way off, but this one sounds like a pretty sure thing. Your must-see museum group show for late-fall 2011 is set.
(Photo courtesy National Portrait Gallery)