[artinfo] artistic freedom and the new national security state

gregory sholette gsholette at verizon.net
Fri Aug 19 21:39:46 CEST 2005

A Knock at the Door

An exhibition about artistic freedom and the new national security state with:

Carlos Andrade & Todd Ayoung; Doug Ashford; Autonomedia; Al 
Brandtner; Lisa Charde; Keith Christensen; Jim Costanzo; Critical Art 
Ensemble; Daedalus; Kouross Esmaeli; Nicolas Dumit Estevez; Benj 
Gerdes;Day Gleeson; Grace Graupe-Pillard; Anthony Graves; Gregory 
Green; Group Material Archive; Hackett; Kathy High; Hiroyuki; 
Christina Nguyen Hung; Jason Lahr; Lou Laurita; John Leanos; James 
Leary; Ligorano/Reese; Bradley McCallum & Jacqueline Tarry; James 
Mead; Saul Melman & Ani Weinstein; Arnold Mesches; Neistat Brothers; 
Barbara Nitke; Jenny Polak; Preemptive Media (Beatriz da Costa, Jamie 
Schulte and Brooke Singer); Walid Raad; Red76; Duke Riley; 
Miguelangel Ruiz; Christy Rupp; Tom Sachs; Jayce Salloum; Julia 
Scher; Dread Scott; Gregory Sholette; Shelly Silver; Camilla Storm; 
Surveillance Camera Players; Ken Tam; Miyuki Tsushima; Ultra Violet; 
The U.S. Joint Terrorism Task Force; VISIBLE Collective/Naeem 
Mohaiemen; Paulina Von Ahlstrom; Naomi White; Christopher Wool
Curated by Seth Cameron, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council


September 8th - October 1st
South Street Seaport Museum, Melville Gallery  213 Water Street
  Opening Reception: September 8th, 6 - 9pm

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art 7 East 7th Street
 Panel Discussion: September 30th, 7pm
Video Night at the Anthology Film Archives
 32 2nd Avenue, September 12th, 8 - 11pm

Our First Amendment rights are no guarantee. In 2001, shortly after 
the September 11th attacks, polls indicated that 50% of the U.S. 
population agreed with the statement "The First Amendment goes too 
far in the rights it guarantees." This dramatic climate change has a 
huge impact on art, how it is made, exhibited, and discussed. Now, 
when works by certain artists or of an indefinable political nature 
are exhibited, we can virtually guarantee the Secret Service will 
show up.

  Since September 11th, the media has reported a number of cases of 
the Secret Service visiting art exhibitions based on citizens' 
reports that artworks posed threats to the president and national 
security. Steve Kurtz, a member of the artist collaborative Critical 
Art Ensemble, was brought to trial on charges of bioterrorism (now 
lessened to mail and wire fraud) after he called the police when he 
woke to find his wife had died of a heart attack.

  But often, no legal action is actually taken. Censorship operates 
effectively at the level of a threat. Artists can feel the threat of 
prosecution without knowing what they would possibly be prosecuted 

Now while this is certainly a frightening development, it does afford 
the possibility of an exhibition that raises public awareness of the 
current retreat of our most basic rights. A Knock at the Door is this 
exhibition. Anchored with works and artists already targeted by the 
Secret Service, the show expands to show how, with no accountability 
required of the federal government, any cultural activity could come 
under investigation. A Knock at the Door challenges the assumption 
that there is a clear line defining so-called "threatening" or 
"Un-American" art and activity, and that all art is an expression of 
the most basic foundation of a democratic society - the free 
expression and exchange of ideas.

For more information see: http://www.lmcc.net/knock/


gregory sholette
280 riverside drive #3e
new york, ny 10025 usa
gsholette at verizon.net

More information about the Artinfo mailing list