It appears that the art gallery that was chosen to be placed in the cultural center, The Drawing Center, might be close to getting itself kicked out….thankfully.
July 18, 2005 — It could be back to the drawing board for the controversial Drawing Center.
The edgy downtown museum has gone from preparing to move to Ground Zero, once construction there is complete, to considering pulling out of the site altogether, according to a published report.
The museum has been criticized by relatives of some 9/11 victims who say cultural displays ? especially those critical of the United States ? have no place at the hallowed site.
Catherine de Zegher, the Drawing Center’s executive director, is waiting to hear from the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. about how much freedom the museum would have at the site.
“The LMDC knows we would never be able to accept censorship,” she told Crain’s New York.
The Drawing Center, one of four cultural institutions chosen a year ago to move to Ground Zero, was attacked last month over an exhibit at its SoHo gallery satirizing President Bush’s “axis of evil” comments.
Another of the four, the Freedom Center, has been similarly criticized over programming plans deemed unpatriotic. But it has assured the LMDC that its content will not be un-American.
The Drawing Center’s refusal to make such a promise has riled critics.
“We just want them to represent people who died that day,” said Sonia Bonomo, whose daughter, Yvette, 30, perished on 9/11.
I am still not understanding why we need a art gallery at this sacred site, nor even a cultural center. But if they go ahead with this move and wish to place a art and cultural center they better well heed the wishes of the families, and most Americans, to make this site about the victims…there are many other places one can go to view art and other cultures, this ground should not be one of them.
The NY Daily News has a bit more on this:
The lower Manhattan Development Corp. wants to keep a controversial SoHo gallery in the planned Ground Zero cultural center – but the gallery director says it won’t stay unless it has complete artistic freedom.
“The LMDC knows that we would never be able to accept censorship,” Catherine de Zegher, director of the Drawing Center, told Crain’s New York Business. “Now they have to come to us with their decision.”
The gallery and the rebuilding agency have been scrambling since late last month, when Gov. Pataki demanded that arts groups given spots at Ground Zero promise the LMDC to “respect the sanctity of that site,” adding that if not, “they shouldn’t be there.”
LMDC President Stefan Pryor said yesterday the agency is still trying to accommodate the Drawing Center – if not in the cultural center, then elsewhere at the World Trade Center site or in lower Manhattan.
“We have been engaged in constructive negotiations with the Drawing Center,” Pryor told the Daily News. “We look forward to continuing to work with them in order to find a solution.”
Drawing Center spokesman Fraser Seitel said the process “at times has been frustrating.”
“But in the past week the discussions have really gotten much better and positive,” Seitel said.
The News last month spotlighted some recent works shown at the Drawing Center that outraged the families of some World Trade Center victims.
One drawing, called “A Glimpse of What Life in a Free Country Can Be Like,” featured a hooded figure, evocative of Abu Ghraib prison. Another, “Homeland Security,” showed four planes swooping from the sky – one toward a naked woman.
Some groups representing 9/11 victims’ families say they don’t want anything on the site detracting from the memorial.
If they cannot accept censorship then they need to take their asses out of this site, plain and simple. Any business or center chosen to have a spot on this sacred ground should view this as a honor, and treat this opportunity as such. If you cannot keep your views to yourself, and that means all views whether from the right or the left, and just honor the victims then you have no business being there….get the eff out!
(h/t A Blog For All)