Smithsonian pulls image of ant-covered Jesus

Rick Moran
What possessed these idiots to display the darn thing in the first place?

The federally funded National Portrait Gallery, a museum of the Smithsonian Institution, announced today that it will remove from one of its exhibitions a video that includes images of ants swarming over Jesus Christ on a crucifix, but will keep in place images of naked brothers kissing, men in chains, Ellen DeGeneres grabbing her breasts, a painting of a male nude that the Smithsonian itelf describes as "homoerotic," and a painting made with nail polish and the cremated ashes of a man with AIDS who committed suicide.The video that showed the crucifix crawling with ants also showed a man's nude frontal image, a mouth being sewn shut, bowls of blood, and mummified humans.

The left calls this "manufactured outrage." OK, fine. Just don't call it "art." It doesn't take much manufacturing to question whether a federally funded gallery has any idea what constitutes "art." Poor judgment in displaying offensive or even nauseating images and calling it art is perfectly legitimate grounds for criticism.

No, art doesn't have to be beautiful all the time in order to be classified as art. Nor does it have to make a statement, tell a story, evoke good feelings, or uplift our souls to meet that criteria.

But art, as a communal experience, needs to be recognized as art beyond the twisted mind of the artist. Art, like beauty, may be in the eye of the beholder, but that eye must be attached to a mind that can tell the difference between the selfless soul of an artist seeking to express himself and some schlock merchant looking to shock.

The National Gallery failed utterly on all levels in accepting this video with or without an ant-covered Jesus.



What possessed these idiots to display the darn thing in the first place?

The federally funded National Portrait Gallery, a museum of the Smithsonian Institution, announced today that it will remove from one of its exhibitions a video that includes images of ants swarming over Jesus Christ on a crucifix, but will keep in place images of naked brothers kissing, men in chains, Ellen DeGeneres grabbing her breasts, a painting of a male nude that the Smithsonian itelf describes as "homoerotic," and a painting made with nail polish and the cremated ashes of a man with AIDS who committed suicide.

The video that showed the crucifix crawling with ants also showed a man's nude frontal image, a mouth being sewn shut, bowls of blood, and mummified humans.

The left calls this "manufactured outrage." OK, fine. Just don't call it "art." It doesn't take much manufacturing to question whether a federally funded gallery has any idea what constitutes "art." Poor judgment in displaying offensive or even nauseating images and calling it art is perfectly legitimate grounds for criticism.

No, art doesn't have to be beautiful all the time in order to be classified as art. Nor does it have to make a statement, tell a story, evoke good feelings, or uplift our souls to meet that criteria.

But art, as a communal experience, needs to be recognized as art beyond the twisted mind of the artist. Art, like beauty, may be in the eye of the beholder, but that eye must be attached to a mind that can tell the difference between the selfless soul of an artist seeking to express himself and some schlock merchant looking to shock.

The National Gallery failed utterly on all levels in accepting this video with or without an ant-covered Jesus.