Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Bard College -- Faculty of the Department of Film and Electronic Arts

To Jeffrey Hoone, Nancy Cantor, Eric Spina and Carole Brzozowski,

We write this letter in protest of the perplexing dismissal of Astria Suparak from the Warehouse Gallery.

Most of us have known and worked with Astria for many years. She is quite simply one of the most important and influential programmers of experimental film and video of her generation. Her numerous projects as an independent curator brought new audiences to experimental film and video, forged new links between the worlds of film, gallery art, and music, and promoted the work of young artists. Since arriving at Syracuse, she has brought fresh and exciting exhibitions to the Warehouse Gallery, and consequently pushed the profile and reputation of this fledgling institution far beyond the local level.

Given that the Warehouse Gallery and the Syracuse arts community as a whole have benefited so greatly from Astria’s work there, her sudden dismissal from her position seems inexplicable. Her firing would be a great loss to New York state film and art, and we strongly urge you to reconsider this shortsighted decision.

Sincerely,

Faculty of the Department of Film and Electronic Arts
Bard College
Annandale-on-Hudson, New York

Peggy Ahwesh
Gerard Dapena
Jacqueline Goss
Ed Halter
Peter Hutton
Les Leveque
John Pruitt
Marie Regan
Kelly Reichardt
Keith Sanborn

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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.