As anyone who’s ever been expected to represent their entire religion/race/ethnicity/gender/world view knows, it’s a pretty difficult task. And yet this is what it seems random volunteers are being asked to do for an exhibition that opened at Berlin’s Jewish Museum a week and a half ago. The show, titled The Whole Truth … everything you always wanted to know about Jews, features a three-sided glass box with a bench inside, on which Jews will sit, one at a time, for the duration of the exhibition (through Sept. 1), answering visitors’ questions and responding to their comments.
Last week, the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo published an image of Mohammad on its cover saying, “100 lashes if you don’t die of laughter!” Sadly, some right-wing muslim zealots firebombed the headquarters of the magazine, but don’t think that shut up the publication. No siree, this week the magazine has upped the ante and published a cartoon of the publisher making out with Mohammad under the banner, “Love is stronger than hate.” That’s right, baby. Fuck the fundamentalists.
The National Portrait Gallery has caved under Republican political pressure and removed a potentially “offensive” video work by David Wojnarowicz, a multi-media artist who was felled by AIDS in 1992, from its Hide/Seek exhibition. The exhibition, deemed brave and important by critics, uncovers previously-veiled LGBT influences in the history of art. Yet threats and demands that the exhibition be canceled from Reps. John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Eric Cantor (R-Va.) have caused the NPG to remove Wojnarowicz’ “A Fire In My Belly,” a video that features a brief clip of ants crawling over a crucifixion Jesus figure.