Arts Briefs West Hollywood

Featured This Week

never alone
a Look at Tom and His Friends

Through June 26, 2011

Fri. 4:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

Sat.-Sun. 1 p.m.-5 p.m.

ONE Archives Gallery & Museum

626 N. Robertson Blvd.

West Hollywood

Never Alone-Presented by ONE Archives Gallery & Museum, never alone features works by artists from the Tom of Finland Foundation permanent collection.
Visit T
om of Finland Foundation for more information.

Arts and cultural affairs information and programming is brought to you by the City of West Hollywood through its Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission.
More information on the arts in West Hollywood.

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Villaraigosa says the Department of Cultural Affairs won’t get the ax

Los Angeles Times
03-22-2011

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa doesn’t agree with a proposal floated by the city’s chief fiscal officer calling for eliminating government support for the arts as a way to address a $404-million budget shortfall, a top aide said Monday.

Villaraigosa “understands the power and importance of the arts and opposes the elimination of the Department of Cultural Affairs,” the statement said, noting that the mayor had “received many calls and e-mails” on Monday as word got out about the memo Santana had sent to the mayor, City Council President Eric Garcetti, and Bernard Parks, who is chairman of the council’s budget and finance committee.

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A DECENT STATE: Art & Policy

A DECENT STATE: Art & Policy Symposium

Presented by the Tom of Finland Foundation at the 16th Annual West Hollywood – Los Angeles Erotic Art Fair Weekend, March 27th, 2011. Co-Sponsored by the California LGBT Arts Alliance

The theme of this panel discussion was the government’s role in determining what the public sees. The discussion focused on censorship of LGBT and erotic art by the NEA and NEH after the Mapplethorpe controversy of the late 1980’s, the creation at that time of the National Endowment for the Arts’ “decency clause” and the question “Can publicly-funded institutions be politically neutral spaces?”

The symposium was moderated by Sharp, VP/Curator for the Tom of Finland Foundation. Participants included: Ivy Bottini, Artist and activist; Greg Day, Southern California Coordinator, California LGBT Arts Alliance; Dallas Dishman, Commissioner, West Hollywood Art & Cultural Affairs Commission; Diane Duke, Executive Director, Free Speech Coalition; Leo Garcia, Executive Director / Artistic Director, Highways Performance Space and Gallery; and Abbe Land, Councilmember, City of West Hollywood.

This was a lively discussion about strategies for promoting LGBT arts and for fighting government censorship. The panel also discussed the impact on the LA LGBT arts community of LACMA and the J. Paul Getty Trust’s recent acquisition of 2,000 of Mapplethorpe’s most famous photographs including the “XYZ Portfolio” and the Getty Research Institute’s ownership of the Mapplethorpe archive.

AND ON THE VERY SAME DAY, AN ARTICLE IN THE WASHINGTON POST

Culture warriors’ cry to art museums: Toughen up against political pressure

By Jacqueline Trescott
The Washington Post
3/27/2011

In the aftermath of the hys­teria around the Robert Mapple­thorpe exhibition 22 years ago, the museum world has become timid and predictable, veterans of that battle argue.

“I do think the museum world has became very safe,” said Dennis Barrie, the former director of the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati. The center featured Mapplethorpe in 1990, and the center and Barrie paid a price. The local sheriff staged a raid, setting off a round of national news stories and protests, and Barrie was charged with obscen­ity. He was acquitted but left the museum.

So when the National Portrait Gallery opened a show last October on same-sex art and identity, the art world hoped it would reverse that trend of self-censorship. Instead, the artistic merits of the show were overshadowed by the Smithsonian’s decision to remove a video by gay artist David Wojnarowicz after complaints from conservative pundits and politicians.

The action was called “shameful” by artist and Yale School of Art Dean Robert Storr, who opened a meeting Saturday at the Corcoran Gallery of Art to discuss the aftermath of the two incidents decades apart.

“The culture wars are back,” Storr said, speaking to 100 people. Critics are insatiable and clever, he said. “We have to be cleverer.”

Veterans of the political and cultural frenzy over Map­ple­thorpe spoke of lessons learned. “You think you are through with politics — you are never through with politics,” Barrie said.

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