Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A. Thomas

Conservatism is Alive and Well at Syracuse University

On the same day that Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Jr. delivered a keynote address on the First Amendment at Syracuse University, members of the University’s Administration are engaged in a deceitful whitewashing campaign. Call it “Operation: Obfuscation,” or “Operation: Let’s See How Long We Can Stonewall Before Everyone Forgets What Is Actually Going On.” (Anyone who has followed the last seven years of Bush Administration doublespeak will recognize this strategy). After recently censoring The Warehouse Gallery’s current exhibition, “COME ON: Desire Under the Female Gaze,” and canceling the upcoming exhibition by internationally-acclaimed, anti-corporate social activists, THE YES MEN, Jeffrey Hoone, Executive Director of Syracuse University's Coalition of Museum and Art Centers is (mis)informing people (through the aid of an auto-response form letter) that the show will go on as originally planned. This is an outright lie. The Yes Men have made it abundantly clear, to Hoone and to others at the university, that the SHOW WILL NOT GO ON.

“Keep It Slick: Infiltrating Capitalism with The Yes Men,” curated by outgoing Warehouse Gallery Director Astria Suparak, was scheduled to open TWO MONTHS from now. The real reason for Hoone’s cancellation of this major exhibition, which would’ve been the first of its kind anywhere in the world, has nothing to do with a “new structure and a revised and broader position for leadership of the Warehouse Gallery.” It has everything to do with old school taste, individual greed, conservative university politics, corporate power, and capitalist imperatives.

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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.