MOSTLY HIDDEN AT "HIDE/SEEK"
by Barbara Pollack
Who knew there were homosexuals and lesbians in the art world? Obviously not the Catholic League, which is right now mounting a campaign against 15 seconds of videotape in the exhibition "Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture," currently on view at the Brooklyn Museum, Nov. 18, 2011-Feb. 12, 2012. The show has been around for over a year, originating at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., which caved in to right-wing pressure and removed the offending material, that is, the haunting footage of ants crawling over a plastic Mexican crucifix in David Wojnarowicz
's video, Fire in My Belly
(1986-87), sparking widespread outrage. Described by the right as "hate speech," the clip is a fleeting image in a longer work that poignantly captures the frustration of an artist in the midst of the AIDS crisis.