"A Fire In My Belly"
Removed from the Smithsonian Institute
Now showing at the New Museum
It is Christmas and I know that I should be be presenting more bright and uplifting Art, I apologize. Instead I am showing shots from "A Fire In My Belly" because I think it is IMPORTANT.
This might be the most political Art Piece today and it was made in 1992.... The artist died of Aids the same year. In November the Smithsonian Institute removed the silent movie from their exhibit "Hide/Seek difference and desire in American Portraiture". The Catholic Church pressured them into removing it.
I want to warn you that the pictures bellow are strong, but I am still a defender of free speech and surprised that a religious institution can have this power over an Art institution.
I therefore think it was brave of the New Museum to react quickly and show the silent movie immediately in their lobby.
When I look at these pictures that I took I feel that they are even more disturbing than when I actually watched the film... Not because my pictures are good, but because you can stop up and stare at the shot, in the movie everything happens fast. The shot with the ants crawling over Christ happens within a few seconds.
According to Diamanda Galas (the famous singer/composer) a friend who was an inspiration behind this movie:
"Ants are only one of the many insects and animals that cover a man removed from his village and deposited in a leper asylum. There would also be maggots and rats and crows. David was gentle I must insist."
Bellow are shots from the film:
Disturbing, but also with a strong message for those that suffer!
I must admit that I am nearly scared of posting this post. I hope that "A Fire In My Belly" will make you understand the power of free speech and that it is important that we keep it for our future.
I also do think that the Catholic Church by being so offended by the film that they demanded it removed from a public institution made the message even stronger. It also makes people like me more curious about what Bill Donohue calls "Hate Speech" really is about.
David intended it to be "a Poetic meditation on humanity, life, death, faith and suffering made in part as a response to the AIDS related death of his good friend Peter Hujar"