Monday, September 17, 2007

Stephanie Koenig

To whom it may concern,

I am writing in support of Astria Suparak. The recent
decision to cancel the Yes Men exhibition and the possibility of the removal of Astria alarms me. The work she has done here has been invaluable to me as
a graduate student. Her work has been pivotal in my understanding of the place of feminist discourse in the contemporary art world. By extension, this has helped me to understand my own place in the art world.

I do not presume to understand why exactly this decision was made, but I can tell you how it will be perceived. Syracuse will have the reputation of a place of intolerance. We are already a city that does not have much culture. There isn’t much here to draw anyone to visit, or to stay once a degree is earned.

I say this bluntly because apparently this isn’t evident. That someone as valuable as Astria would be dispensed with shows how little this is understood. Other repercussions seem obvious, what message does this send to the person to fill her position? What does this say to students, faculty and the community at large? It implies that this community cannot handle difference.

In addition to these concerns, Astria is on my thesis committee. I have been looking forward to working with her. Without her input, I will miss out on an irreplaceable perspective.

I ask that these decisions be reconsidered, for the community and for the university.

Stephanie Koenig

Graduate Student
Sculpture, Studio Arts, VPA
Syracuse University

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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.