No Walk in the Park: Protest of Smithsonian Censorship

“Ants in my pants, fire in my belly,” chanted critic Jerry Saltz, with an estimated 500 artists, curators, activists, and gay and lesbian supporters on Sunday afternoon. The collective chant voiced response to the removal of a truncated version of the late artist David Wojnarowicz’s 1987 video, A Fire in My Belly, from the exhibition “Hide/Seek” at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. Saltz, his partner Roberta Smith, the New Museum’s Lisa Phillips and former general counsel of the Metropolitan Museum Ashton Hawkins gathered among others on a brisk afternoon, by the steps of the Metropolitan Museum at 1:00 PM, holding signs that read, “Smithsonian stop the censorship,” “Free speech bitch,” “Stop homophobia” and “Silence = Death.”