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Wojnarowicz-Gate Continues, Early Draft of Director Martin Sullivan’s Statement Leaked

The discussion over the National Portrait Gallery‘s decision to bow to political pressure and pull David Wojnarowicz‘s piece “A Fire in My Belly” still continues, being as it’s likely going to turn out to be the biggest museum, and perhaps even art, story of the year. We’ve tried to catch all the most important bits along the way, with two in-bulk posts about it, from the initial piece-pulling and reactions, to the two largest museum associations who have taken opposing views of the Gallery’s move. However, if this story interests you and you’re not following ArtInfo throughout all of this, you really should be, since they’ve been all over it from the start. Most recently they interviewed the two protesters who went into the museum, one with an iPad strapped to his chest playing Wojnarowicz’s piece, the other filming the inevitable retaliation (both were released, but banned from the building for life). Even more remarkable, just yesterday the site got its hands on a leaked early draft of the official statement made by the Gallery’s director, Martin Sullivan, before it was revised and published. We called out Sullivan’s letter in our first post about the controversy, being as polite as possible when calling it “a timid response.” Thanks to a peek at this earlier, much longer version, one that openly states Sullivan’s disappointment that the piece had been removed, that gives a look into the dissent over the matter that’s clearly caused some friction at the Smithsonian recently. A juicy as this all is, we’ll be continuing to follow the site’s coverage and encourage you to do the same.

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