Saturday, December 1, 2007

Line Up........

There seems to be controversy brewing in the New York Public Library's main 5th Ave branch these days. Oddly though, it isn't about which books shouldn't or should be on the shelves, it concerns an art exhibit that is currently on view there.

The exhibit, "Line Up" by artists Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese features six doctored photographs of Bush administration members. They each are holding a clapboard like in a standard mugshot that features the date of their "arrest." That date featured is when each member had made "incriminating" statements about the Iraq war. It also features adio clips of the members and the sounds of flashbulbs and a prison door closing.

While some find the exhibit hysterical or bold, others are not amused by the political satire. Matthew Walter, director of communications for the state GOP finds it to be simply inappropriate and feels what he describes as political attack art shouldn't be hanging in a publically funded location such as the library.

Jim Strifler, 54 of Sayville LI NY also feels that it shouldn't be hung in a public library. He added that he felt that the library is neutral grounds and he plans to present the opposing view when he returns with his own version that will feature prominent Democrats.

Roberta Waddell, curator of the library's print collection stated that the exhibit is in keeping with tradition that dates back to 18th century England. She stated that the mugshots in the exhibit that runs until Jan 27 2008, are a relevent example of political commentary.

It seems that libraries will always be the center of kind of controversy, from the books they offer to their not wanting to bend to the public's view of their choices. People should be able to see and read many opposing views there, as a way of possibly learning more about themselves. Our political leaders aren't gods and using their image in artwork is very far from treason I thought in this country.

For the photo gallery, go here.

1 comment:

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