Yeah I know. “But this is different”

Posted: June 5, 2008 in Just "Why?"

‘Assassination’ Artist Is Questioned and Released

By Sewell Chan

nytimes.com

This morning, a Boston-born performance artist, Yazmany Arboleda, tried to set up a provocative art exhibition in a vacant storefront on West 40th Street in Midtown Manhattan with the title, “The Assassination of Hillary Clinton/The Assassination of Barack Obama,” in neatly stenciled letters on the plate glass windows at street level.

By 9:30 a.m., New York City police detectives and Secret Service agents had shut down the exhibition, and building workers had quickly covered over the inflammatory title with large sheets of brown paper and blue masking tape. The gallery is across the street from the southern entrance to The New York Times building.

The police officers declined to answer any questions, and at first would not permit reporters to speak with Mr. Arboleda, who was wearing a black T-shirt and making cellphone calls from inside the makeshift gallery.

Later, Mr. Arboleda, who is 27, said in an interview: “It’s art. It’s not supposed to be harmful. It’s about character assassination — about how Obama and Hillary have been portrayed by the media.” He added, “It’s about the media.” (more…)

It’s funny how when someone does a film about the assassination of Bush (Death of a President), it is seen as non-threatening art. In fact, it won an award. Now while most of us may not like Bush for one reason or another, this is clearly a double standard on what some constitute as ‘art’.

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Comments
  1. MIB says:

    Death of a President hasn’t been released in the U.S.. But that hasn’t stopped various politicians (incl. Hillary Clinton) from deriding it and theater chains from refusing to screen the film.

    Apples to apples, please.

  2. Duane says:

    However I do not recall the director being dragged into the local police station or questioned by the CIA.

  3. MIB says:

    Maybe that’s because the CIA doesn’t detain people.

    A-p-p-l-e-s t-o a-p-p-l-e-s.

  4. Duane says:

    Maybe that’s because the CIA doesn’t detain people.

    But they (secret service–not CIA) do question folks while the local police detain–as stated in the article. Gabriel Range got no such treatment from law enforcement for his ‘artistic expression’ for a sitting president. You are equating market forces (nevermind his $1 mill profit for selling the distribution rights) and a politician’s denouncement to someone being detained by the police and shut down by the Secret Service?

    What about those ‘apples’ again?

  5. MIB says:

    Yeah, but… Gabriel Range isn’t an American, wasn’t in America at the time of his film’s screening, and his movie has yet to be distributed here. As I alluded, various U.S. lawmakers have already discouraged U.S movie studios from distributing Death of a President and major movie chains from screening. CNN and one other cable news network have already refused to run ads for the film.

    I’m quite sure, given our gov’t’s recent police state-like penchant for eavesdropping that Range would have been monitored, if not questioned, by the authorities here had he made the movie in America. IIRC, it’s SOP for the Secret Service to investigate whenever a possible threat against a high-ranking Federal official — like two, U.S. senators campaigning for President — has been discerned.

    This has nothing to do with economics and everything to do with jurisdiction and misuse of power.

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