Double Duty

From Censorpedia

Date: 2003

Region: North America

Subject: Sexual/Gender Orientation

Medium: Photography


Artist: John Trobaugh

Confronting Bodies: President of Shelton State Community College

Dates of Action: October, 2003

Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Description of Artwork: Double Duty is a set of ten 30 by 40 inch photographs featuring Ken and G.I. Joe dolls in various poses. Some of the dolls are embracing or holding hands.

The Incident: Shelton State asked Trobaugh, an adjunct professor, to exhibit his work in the school's gallery. He followed the procedure for installing a show, showing slides to the head of the school's art department, Linda Grote. One day after its installation, the school president, Rick Rogers, complained about the exhibit. The following week, Grote met with Trobaugh and told him that his pieces "weren't working," and removed the exhibit. Rogers' reasoning was that the "controversial" photographs were inappropriate when juxtaposed with the school's showing of Arsenic and Old Lace.

Results of Incident: The school offered Trobaugh the opportunity to exhibit his work in a gallery out of sight of children visiting to see the play. Trobaugh refused, suggesting that it was an attempt to "obfuscate the issues."