Tuesday, September 18, 2007

William C. Wees

Dear Jeffrey Hoone,

I hope an "outsider" may be permitted to comment on the reported
removal of Astria Suparak as Director of the Warehouse Gallery.

Ms. Suparak had established an international reputation as a
well-informed and adventurous curator of experimental film and video
programs before I had the pleasure of meeting her in Montréal, which
was her home for several years before she moved to Syracuse. Once I
met her, I discovered that her expertise extended well beyond
experimental film and video to include all the visual and moving image
arts. In addition, I found her to be open-minded, knowledgeable, and
enthusiastic about the social and aesthetic significance of a wide
range works in the visual arts. Her appointment to the directorship of
the Warehouse Gallery seemed to me appropriate and well-deserved.

I have not been able to attend the exhibitions she has organized at
the Warehouse Gallery, but thanks to the Internet, I have been able to
keep track of her very impressive accomplishments during the short
time she has been Director of the gallery. She has brought to Syracuse
some extremely interesting and ground-breaking exhibitions. Rather
than having her contract terminated, in my view, she should be
rewarded with a long-term renewal of her contract in recognition of
her contributions to the cultural life of the university in particular
and the city in general.

I urge, therefore, that Ms. Suparak be allowed-indeed, encouraged-to
continue developing the Warehouse Gallery's enlightened engagement
with past and current developments in the visual arts.

Sincerely,

William C. Wees, Emeritus Professor , McGill University
Editor
CANADIAN JOURNAL OF FILM STUDIES
REVUE CANADIENNE D'ÉTUDES CINÉMATOGRAPHIQUES
McGill University
853 Sherbrooke St. West--ArtsW225
Montreal, QC H3A 2T6
514-398-4935 (telephone) 514-398-7247 (fax)

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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.