Subject: The Argus, March 9, 2001
From: "Rachelle Street" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2001 19:00:30 -0500
Giuliani vs. Brooklyn Museum of Art, constitution
by Matthew Thompson
Accountability is emphasized a great deal in our society.
Parents are accountable for the conduct of their children. Students are accountable for the integrity of their schoolwork. The government is accountable for the people.
If a neo-fascist organization acquired public funds in order to construct a shrine for Adolf HItler, there would be a justifiably outraged mass of constituents demanding their taxes not be used to subsidize such a project.
What if the organization in question wasn't a rightist militia group? What if it was a individual? What if instead of creating a shrine, she sought to create a work of art? What if the work in question was a photograph modeled after "The Last Supper" and depicted the nude artist in place of Jesus?
In recent weeks, New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani faced this very predicament.
Needless to say, when the artwork in question was displayed in the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Giuliani was not pleased. He branded the piece as "outrageous" and "disgusting" and wanted in removed.
This wasn't the first time the museum has run afoul of the mayor. It wasn't all that long ago when he raised similar objections to a portrait of the Virgin Mary that had been decorated with elephant feces. In fact, Giuliani was so incensed that he terminated all city funding for the museum.
However, critics and the Supreme Court felt such action constituted a violation of the First Amendment right to free speech.
Censorship is something most people take very seriously. No one wants to be told what he or she can and cannot say. This principle isn't restricted to verbal communication either.
Art, after all, is supposed to speak to us all. Art is dynamic and meaningful. At least that's what the artists say. I'd be hard pressed to find any meaning the works discussed above, except perhaps a desire on the part of the artists to be shocking and controversial simply for the sake of being shocking and controversial.
My own opinion notwithstanding, it is a fact that people in New York pay taxes, and some of this money is given to the Brooklyn Museum of Art. That brings us back to the concept of accountability.
Perhaps through some twisted logic, the artwork does have a legitimate message. Even if that were the case, it's irrelevant when taxpayer funds are concerned. If an artist or an institution is using someone else's money in this manner, they must be held accountable.
Mr. Giuliani pays taxes and is consequently entitled to protest when he disagrees with the way his money is being spent.
However, Giuliani has done a bit more than lodge a mere complaint. In addition to his short-lived embargo on city funding to the museum last year, he currently endorses the creation of a board of "decent citizens" that would be responsible for screening work destined for display in public institutions.
Not surprisingly, the response has been harsh.
Many people are uncomfortable with the idea of a government panel deciding whether a piece of art is tasteful enough to be displayed.
Giuliani's stance and proposal have been likened to those of fascists from days gone by. If the government controls what artists are allowed to exhibit, what happens next? State-sanctioned book burnings and abolition of the First Amendment?
It seems horribly naive to assume that preventing offensive material from being subsidized with taxes will steer us on an irrevocable course towards tyranny.
Still, there is a following of people who don't share Giuliani's sentiments. They find the work in question beautiful and inspirational, not offensive.
One solution would be to cease publicly funding the arts altogether. This would be quite unfortunate. I enjoy art museums immensely. From my point of view, removing their funding would equate to allowing a few bad apples to ruin things for everyone else.
I think Giuliani might be on to something. Let him create his panel--a small group of taxpayers from various walks of life. If they run across a work that is likely to be distasteful to a significant portion of people, have a referendum. Give the citizens of New York the option of voting on whether they want the questionable work exhibited. They're the ones paying for it; doesn't it make sense they be given a say?
However, this system is unlikely to catch on in the foreseeable future. There are too many people who believe that even a minor form of oversight would infringe upon the First Amendment.
As it stands now, Giuliani is fighting a losing battle. The Brooklyn Museum will continue to feature offensive art, and the mayor will be forced to watch idly and clench his fists. He does have options, though. He can encourage his constituents to boycott exhibits they find objectionable.
He can articulate his own objections without appearing confrontational. He can request that artists be mindful of the repercussions their work may have and remind them that they are ultimately accountable to the taxpayers.
Mr. Giuliani is not a despot. He has no wish to be oppressive. He's simply standing up for something he feels is right and championing what he believes are noble values. We should be proud of him.
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Subject: tribune jobs that just opened
From: "Maldre, Matthew" <MMaldre@Tribune.com>
Date: Mon, 9 Apr 2001 12:23:20 -0500
The Morning Call
Photographer: Photographs news events and features. We are seeking candidates who understand the purpose of journalism and can communicate effectively with editors, reporters and designers. Candidates should have technical skills and photo ideas, understand reproduction techniques and problem solving, able to meet daily deadlines with high quality photographs and will performs all other duties as assigned. Requirements include:
* Knowledge of Macintosh, PC, Photoshop
* Sound working knowledge of technical skills
* Ability to turn ordinary assignments into memorable photographs
* At least 2 years of daily newspaper experience
* Preferably a degree in photojournalism
The Morning Call
101 N. Sixth St.
P.O. Box 1260
Allentown, PA 18105
Graphic Designer: This position is responsible for designing and producing graphics for the station's newscasts and other programming. It is important to establish and maintain a strong and consistent graphic image for the station through computerized design and production methods. Position requires an art school certificate, a bachelor's degree in graphic design or related fine arts field, or equivalent related experience. Must possess strong design skills, knowledge of traditional and computerized design and production methods and be capable of working under deadline pressures. A minimum of 1-year experience designing news graphics on Quantel Paint Box is preferred. Knowledge of newsroom software, AfterEffects, Photoshop and Illustrator is beneficial. Ability to work flexible hours isrequired.
6160 S. Wabash Way
Denver, CO 80111
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Subject: please pass the word
Date: Wed, 4 Apr 2001 16:06:41 -0500
From: Jennifer Lapham <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Please pass the word...
BEAUTIFUL APARTMENT FOR RENT:
AVAILABLE MAY 1
An apartment in Bloomington is for rent, starting May 1
-2 bedrooms, living room, dining room
-Lots of light
-Driveway and garage
-2 blocks from IWU, 1 mile from ISU
-Walking distance from Franklin Park and Constitution Trail
-Lots of closet space
RENT: $635 per month (heat included)
Call Jennifer and/or Paul at 820-8014
Illinois Wesleyan University
P.O. Box 2900
Bloomington, Illinois 61702-2900
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Subject: Request from Miles
From: Miles Bair <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2001 13:01:38 -0600
To all School of Art former students and graduates:
We need your feedback!
Please take a few minutes to answer the following questions.
E-mail your responses to Miles Bair firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. What was the most valuable experience that you had at the
School of Art?
2. What was the biggest waste of your time?
3. If you had to do all over again (assume that you would
have still come to IWU) what would have done differently?
4. When the School of Art faculty plans future directions,
what would you like us to consider?
5. How do you rate the quality your IWU education and your
education within the major?
6. What else would you like to tell us?
7. What year did you graduate or leave IWU.
8. What is your favorite cow?
(okay, this question is optional)
Thanks for your help and best wishes to all!
Miles Bair email@example.com Professor of Art Director,
Ames School of Art,Illinois Wesleyan University
PO Box 2900 Bloomington, IL 61702-2900 Phone:309 556 3134
Coming and Ongoing shows of IWU people
April 5 - April 22, 2001
LAURA A. KESSELRING (class of 97)
Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, TN
April 20 - May 25, 2001
LAURA A. KESSELRING (class of 97)
Appleton Art Center, 130 N. Morrison St., Appleton, WI 54911
For more details, visit: http://www.artiwu.org/news
Do you know any IWU alum/faculty/student in an art show?
Go to the above address and fill out a form.
end of digest
(__) ^^ (oo) ^^^^ /-------\/ ^^^^^ / | || ^^^^^ * ||----|| ^^^^^^^^ ====^^====^^==== ^^^^^^^^^^^^^/ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Cow Hanging Ten at Malibu