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Coming Out of the Closet?

A controversy over possible censorship at the Jewish Museum continues

Adam Chandler
June 22, 2012
(Marc Adelman)
(Marc Adelman)

The Jewish Museum says it may consider reinstalling of a work of art in its current “Composed: Identity, Politics, Sex” exhibit. Marc Adelman, the artist whose work was taken down in May, say the museum may be reinstall his work, Stelen (Columns), in a response to charges that its removal of the work was a form of censorship. The exhibition might even be extended through the summer.

“I’ve spoken to the museum, but I don’t have specifics right now,” Adelman told Tablet Magazine.

Tablet Magazine reported yesterday that the Jewish Museum removed Adelman’s work—consisting of collected dating-profile photos of gay men posing at Berlin’s Holocaust memorial—after receiving complaints from men featured in the images. Adelman was not consulted before the decision was made and explained that to his knowledge only one man whose image had been displayed in the exhibit complained. According to Adelman, the museum simply informed him that the images were coming off the wall.

“This is not censorship,” the museum said in a statement issued to the New York Times, which covered this story on its Arts Beat blog today. “We are discussing multiple complex issues of privacy, privacy expectations regarding photos made available on social media, personal safety, and the consequences of image appropriation in the digital age,” the museum said.

Contacted by The Scroll, the museum did not respond before this post was published.

Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.