Sunday, September 30, 2007

Jane Tam

come on
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Reposted from here

Syracuse has been going through some tough art politics lately with the surprising dismissal of Astria Suparak from Syracuse University funded gallery, The Warehouse Gallery. Astria was appointed gallery director a year ago, almost instantly curating an Art Video Festival at the local art space, Spark. Many are outraged at the sudden firing and overwhelming confused on the bad decision made by the Coalition of Museums and Art Centers's Director, Jeffrey Hoone.

Some speculated the decision was due to the current exhibition up at the Warehouse Gallery, titled, "COME ON:Desire Under The Female Gaze." The CMAC heads were not too keen on the subject matter and how it would be perceived by the Syracuse public. Here is a the description of the show from the gallery website:

The Warehouse Gallery of Syracuse University launches a bold new exhibition, COME ON: Desire Under The Female Gaze, which focuses on the psychological, social, cultural and political dimensions of desire, subjectivity and pleasure.
COME ON reveals what is not represented in popular culture and provides a counterbalance to the ubiquitous imagery of sexualized female bodies created for mainstream heterosexual male sensibilities.

The art community in Syracuse have been growing at a fast rate thanks to Astria's influence and connections with the art world. This scuffle throws the growth back 10 steps in making Syracuse a city with a quality art community.

The backlash has succeeded in receiving many supporters for Astria as well as a blog, titled "Syracuse Loses Again." From there you can read the many many letters and press coverage about the situation. You can even read the obvious art censorship argument between Astria and Jeffrey Hoone in their email exchanges. Another interesting blog is Keep Astria.

The City of Syracuse Common Council appointed Astria Suparak to the Public Arts Commission for the period of three years, effective October 1, 2007. See The Post Standard Article.

Here is a flickr set of the COME On exhibit~


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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.