Thursday, September 20, 2007

David Chu

[ reposted from Assonance blog by david Chu ]
September 20th, 2007 by Dave

Surprise - the blog has taken on a deathly look. This is because the powers that be at Syracuse University have seen fit to dismiss Astria Suparak, who had been doing highly impressive work to vitalize the Syracuse art scene, not only on behalf of the university, but also with the intent of increasing connections between the university, Syracuse artists, and the Syracuse community as a whole.

If you’ve read this blog before, you’ve likely noticed that I try to find positive aspects of living in Syracuse, pass along what I’ve found for your enjoyment, and encourage your comments. I strive to maintain a positive tone; after all, there are many naysayers here, and I very much want our town to grow and prosper, despite its apparent lack of vision and self-esteem. But truthfully, I sometimes get completed frustrated, as I am today. Just when it seemed that Syracuse was beginning to “get it” and get the right people to help our city, hopes may be dashed yet again.

It’s not clear exactly why they dismissed Suparak, as all the facts aren’t in, so to speak. But in a way, that’s just the point - there’s been no explanation to the community and university population: the people that are most affected by this unfortunate decision. Because the administration has kept silent, we can only speculate. Maybe Suparak’s programming, which actually included some somewhat controversial content designed to challenge perceptions, offended some timid souls. Maybe she’s not a natural political player, a problem in a bureacracy full of fiefdoms jockeying for position.

What is clear is this - now that she’s been dismissed, letters of support are pouring in from an impressive contingent of arts luminaries all over the US and beyond. And once again, Syracuse is being viewed as a Loser City, not just by its residents, but internationally. Way to go!!!!!

David Chu
davidchu.net

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BACKGROUND

Syracuse has lost one its greatest assets. Astria Suparak, Inaugural Director of The Warehouse Gallery of Syracuse University, was removed from her position as of Sept. 30th, 2007, despite widespread support from community members, students, faculty, and the international art community. This decision was made unilaterally by Jeffrey Hoone, Executive Director of the Coalition of Museum and Art Centers (CMAC).

At the time of Suparak's dismissal, Hoone also canceled her forthcoming exhibitions, including "Keep It Slick: Infiltrating Capitalism with The Yes Men," due to open in November 2007.