Acting Up and Boiling Over
"How do you tell a communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin."
"Government's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives."
- President Ronald Reagan











Leon Golub, Interrogation III, 1981.











Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Maya Lin, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, 1980 - 1982.











"Walking through this park-like area, the memorial appears as a rift in the earth—a long, polished black stone wall, emerging from and receding into the earth. Approaching the memorial, the ground slopes gently downward, and the low walls emerging on either side, growing out of the earth, extend and converge at a point below and ahead. Walking into the grassy site contained by the walls of this memorial, we can barely make out the carved names upon the memorial's walls. These names, seemingly infinite in number, convey the sense of overwhelming numbers, while unifying these individuals into a whole." - Maya Lin's proposal for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Controversy over the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the 9/11 Memorial











The Three Soldiers

Vietnam Womens Memorial

Frederick Hart, The Three Servicemen, 1984.
Glenna Goodacre, Vietnam Women's Memorial, 1993.




















In 1981, artist Richard Serra installs his sculpture Tilted Arc, in Federal Plaza in New York City. It has been commissioned [for $175,000] by the Arts-in-Architecture program of the U.S. General Services Administration, which earmarks 0.5 percent of a federal building's cost for artwork. Tilted Arc is a curving wall of raw steel, 120 feet long and 12 feet high, that carves the space of the Federal Plaza in half. Those working in surrounding buildings must circumvent its enormous bulk as they go through the plaza. According to Serra, this is the point, "The viewer becomes aware of himself and of his movement through the plaza. As he moves, the sculpture changes. Contraction and expansion of the sculpture result from the viewer's movement. Step by step the perception not only of the sculpture but of the entire environment changes."
Tilted Arc
Richard Serra, Tilted Arc, 1981 - 1989.











Javitt's Call
Richard Serra, Tilted Arc, 1981 - 1989.
Richard Serra On Trial for Tilted Arc











The public hearing is held in March 1985. During the hearing, 122 people testify in favor of retaining the sculpture, and 58 testify in favor of removing it. The art establishment -- artists, museum curators, and art critics -- testify that Tilted Arc is a great work of art. Those against the sculpture, for the most part people who work at Federal Plaza, say that the sculpture interferes with public use of the plaza. They also accuse it of attracting graffiti, rats, and terrorists who might use it as a blasting wall for bombs. The jury of five, chaired by William Diamond, vote 4-1 in favor of removing the sculpture.

Serra's appeal of the ruling fails. On March 15, 1989, during the night, federal workers cut Tilted Arc into three pieces, remove it from Federal Plaza, and cart it off to a scrap-metal yard.

Javitz Plaza

Jacob Javits Federal Building Plaza today











Krzysztof Wodiczko, The Homeless Projection 2,
The Soldiers and Sailors Civil War Memorial
, Boston, 1986 – 1987.











Jenny Holzer, Abuse of power comes as no surprise, collaboration with Lady Pink, c. 1980.











ACT-UP, Kiss In demonstration flyer, 1986.
ACT-UP, Reagan's AIDS Gate, 1987.











6 Gay Activists, Silence Equals Death, 1987.
Gran Fury, The Government has Blood on its Hands, 1988.











Keith Haring, Act Up, 1989.











ACT-UP, Kissing Doesn't Kill, 1990.











Zoe Leonard for Fierce Pussy, Are You a Boy or a Girl?, 1992.











Felix Gonzales Torres, Untitled (Perfect Lovers), 1991.











"Above all else, it's about leaving a mark that I existed: I was here. I was hungry. I was defeated. I was happy. I was sad. I was in love. I was afraid. I was hopeful. I had an idea and I had a good purpose and that's why I made works of art." - Felix Gonzalez Torres


Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Bed, 1991.











Plywood Show

Lover Boys

Robert Morris, Plywood Show, 1964.
Felix Gonzalez torres, Untitled (Lover Boys), 1991.











Placcebo installed

Felix Gonzalez Torres,  Untitled (Placebo), 1991.

Baci = italian for "kiss"
"I'm giving you this sugary thing; you put it in your mouth and you suck on someone else's body.
And in this way, my work becomes part of so many other people's bodies. It's very hot." - Gonzalez-Torres