WASHINGTON, DC.- The Smithsonians National Portrait Gallery
will continue to display AA Bronsons work Felix, June 5, 1994 in its exhibition, Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture, through the shows scheduled closing Feb. 13, 2011.
Bronson recently requested the portraits removal in protest over the deletion of a video segment by David Wojnarowicz titled A Fire in My Belly.
Martin Sullivan, director of the Portrait Gallery, and curators David C. Ward and Jonathan Katz carefully considered Bronsons request. They also considered concerns expressed by supporters of Hide/Seek that the theme and impact of the overall exhibition would suffer significantly if the work were removed. Sullivan consulted with the National Gallery of Canada, which owns the work and loaned it to the Portrait Gallery for the exhibition.
I have great empathy toward AA Bronson and his request, said Sullivan. However, we want visitors to the National Portrait Gallery to experience the exhibition without further alteration. Mr. Bronsons photograph is a brilliant and sobering meditation on the human tragedy of AIDS and the power of portraiture.
The Portrait Gallery has invited Bronson to make a formal statement of his views, which would be installed next to his work for visitors to see, together with other public comments. The museums online audience is also invited to comment on its blog: face2face.si.edu.
Bronson has been invited to be a speaker at a symposium on Hide/Seek at the Portrait Gallery scheduled for Jan. 29, 2011; details of the symposiums schedule will be announced at a later time.
Bronsons wall-size color portrait shows the body of his partner, Felix Partz, a few hours after he died of complications from AIDS.