Transformer was the first organization to present "A Fire in My Belly" in a direct and immediate response to the Smithsonian's censorship of a 4-minute edited version pulled from the Hide/Seek exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.
Screened on a continual loop in Transformer's store-front window space on Dec. 1-2, 2010, and in honor of World AIDS Day & Day With(out) Art, Transformer is proud to have initiated early further dialogue around this work and its censoring.
In addition to the initial screening of A Fire in My Belly, Transformer continued its efforts to promote dialogue around these events:
December 2, 2010
- Transformer organized an artistic action for Dec. 2, 2010, in which 100 people marched to the steps of the National Portrait Gallery in silent protest of the Smithsonian's censorship of the work.
- Transformer issued a letter to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, G. Wayne Clough calling on him to reinstate the work.
December 3, 2010
Transformer began showing the entire thirty-minute Wojnarowicz work in progress with unique permission from his Estate, and continued screening through February 4, 2011. Displayed on Transformer's storefront was the Day With(out) Art symbol and the following text:
A Fire in My Belly
Video by David Wojnarowicz (1954 – 1992)
Created in 1987, Censored by the Smithsonian Institution 2010
December 20, 2010
- In collaboration with writer/activist Catherine V. Dawson and Transformer, the Washington DC JCC hosted hide/SPEAK a conversation with Hide/Seek co-curator David C, Ward and others, to discuss the events that led up to the Smithsonian's removal of David Wojnarowicz's A Fire in My Belly video from the exhibition and the social and political implications of the situation. Click here for video of the event.
January. 28, 2011
- Transformer co-signs a letter written by the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) urging the Smithsonian Board of Regents to adopt policies upholding First Amendment principles.
January 31, 2011
- Art+, with support from Transformer and the Museum of Censored Art, organized a protest at the Smithsonian Castle during the Board of Regents meeting, calling on the Smithsonian to remove Secretary Clough from office.
Action March 26, 2011 - Culture Wars: Then and Now
- Transformer presented a day-long symposium in collaboration with the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Corcoran College of Art + Design with talks and panels on censorship, arts activism, and arts funding.