Scrolling Text Artwork by DETEXT Censored at Midtown’s Instituto Cervantes?

03/24/2011 2:12 PM |

Spam (2011) by DETEXT.

  • “Spam” (2011) by DETEXT.

The New York- and Berlin-based, Spanish-Romanian duo DETEXT (Valentin Duceac and Raúl Martínez) contributed the latest piece in their Spam series (which we enjoyed at MoMA PS1’s Greater New York last year), “Spam” (2011, pictured), a Jenny Holzer-esque scrolling LED sign displaying phrases from penis enlargement spam emails like “be a god of her intimate dreams and “dance in the sheets all night long,” to the Instituto Certvantes’ current electricity-themed exhibition of collaborative artworks by artists based in New York, Eléctrica IC-11. But DNAinfo reports that after DETEXT’s piece was hung from a second story window at 211-215 East 49th Street the work had to be taken down because the institution hadn’t filed all the appropriate permits—not because Midtown neighbors found phrases like “be proud of your masculinity much longer than it used to be” objectionable (phew!).

DNAinfo explains that the Spanish culture-promoting Instituto requested approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission but did not secure the requisite permits from the Department of Buildings—one for a sign, and another for an alteration. Luckily, there’s video of the outdoor installation before it was taken down and reinstalled indoor (below). Eléctrica IC-11 continues through Saturday at the Instituto Certvantes.