[The 90’s raw: Art Emergency]

Raw footage for a segment produced by Skip Blumberg for The 90s called "Art Emergency." The footage documents protests over the censorship of an HIV/AIDS-themed art show at Artists Space in New York City entitled "Witnesses: Against Our Vanishing." The exhibition, curated by photographer Nan Goldin, featured the work of David Wojnarowicz, Cookie Mueller, James Nares, and others.

00:00Copy video clip URL B-roll of the World Trade Center at night.

00:09Copy video clip URL B-roll various printed signs: Art Emergency; Artists Space; Art Bigot; Fight Censorship. B-roll of people entering a gallery called Artists Space in New York City.

01:20Copy video clip URL A crowd has gathered on the street outside the gallery. A rally. A woman called Roberta says this afternoon John Frohnmayer of the National Endowment of the Arts reinstated the award to Artists Space. “We’re exceptionally pleased.” An issue that apparently prevented the space from getting the award was resolved.

02:18Copy video clip URL A journalist interviews a man called Joe. Audio is low. Videographer stops and restarts shooting the man in mid-interview. He is saying that this battle is about homophobia.

03:50Copy video clip URL A journalist interviews Bill Dobbs from a group called Art Positive. He says he and his group are here to see that Frohnmayer resigns from the NEA and to demand an end to all Federal censorship of the arts.

05:12Copy video clip URL The videographer chats with renowned video artist Clayton Patterson. Patterson advises the videographer: “This is an important event! Get your camera on and shoot.”

05:46Copy video clip URL B-roll of the crowd outside Art Space, a large rally is developing. David Cort gives an ID for The 90s. He says there’s a sense of celebration because artists have won.

06:30Copy video clip URL B-roll of various people at the rally. Meeting and greeting.

07:26Copy video clip URL The videographer wanders through the crowd as police confer with Art Positive group leaders trying to assess the situation. Dobbs says he feels great about the demonstration. It’s about standing up for free expression and to take a stand against homophobia and bigotry. We’re calling for the resignation of Frohnmayer. Dobbs notes he’s seen more censorship in the 90s. He notes that in New Haven nine people, himself included, were arrested for posters showing two naked people in a bath tub and the line “Just Sex” under the photo. The posters were deemed obscene. The tactic of the 90s is stand up and make a stand.

09:50Copy video clip URL Police officers confer with Dobbs assessing the crowd. Dobbs tells the police the people are demonstrating to have Frohnmayer fired because he wanted to cut the funds granted to Artists Space.

11:26Copy video clip URL A person comes up and asks about the camera the videographer is using.

12:10Copy video clip URL B-roll of the demonstration. A crowd of people flood the street in front of Artists Space.

12:24Copy video clip URL The videographer talks with Patterson, sharing with him stories of the footage he’s just shot.

13:41Copy video clip URL B-roll of the demonstrators chanting, rallying, a radio journalist records a description of the event. The crowd chants: “N.E.A. stop your tricks, art and sex and politics!”

19:30Copy video clip URL A radio journalist records an interview with demonstrators for WFUV radio.

20:53Copy video clip URL B-roll of the Art Space gallery. The crowd is gone. The demonstration is over. The gallery is closing for the night. The videographer wanders the streets of New York toward the World Trade Center.

22:27Copy video clip URL The videographer walks into a restaurant. Very low light. Noisy.

22:47Copy video clip URL The videographer shoots newspaper headlines “Images of Grief and Rage In Exhibition on AIDS”, “The Endowment vs The Arts: Anger and Concern”. He summarizes that the story centers around an art show at Artists Space centers on AIDS. Frohnmayer, the new chairman of NEA suspended a grant to the gallery because he thought the exhibition was too political and lost it’s artistic focus. Now he says he’ll restore the grant as long as it doesn’t pay for a catalogue that talked about setting fire to Jesse Helms. The New York arts community is confronting the issue. The newspaper is dated November 14, 1989.

25:39Copy video clip URL The videographer, Skip Blumberg, records notes to the video editor.

26:16Copy video clip URL END.



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