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New Museum Director Lisa Phillips Explains Decision to Show Wojnarowicz Video

When the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery announced that it would be removing “A Fire in My Belly,” a David Wojnarowicz video work, from its Hide/Seek exhibition due to Republican political pressure, the art world rushed to the work’s defense. Among the first art institutions to respond to the scandal was the New Museum. In a press release on December 6, the museum announced that it would be displaying the video in its lobby “as an act of solidarity with the many artists whose rights of expression continue to be limited by misinformation and fear.”

In a Hyperallergic-exclusive Q+A with New Museum’s director Lisa Phillips, the director explains how the museum reacted to the initial controversy and how the decision was made to display the censored video in the lobby.