Plan B (exhibition)
Artist: Carla Aspenberg, Jill Auckenthaler, John Avelluto, Zoë Cohen, David Davron, Susan C. Dessel, Carl Ferrero, Carrie Fucile, Pamela Gordon, Yejin Jun, Diane Kosup, Marni Kotak, Augusto Marin, Akiko Mori, Chris Moss, Sarah Nicole Phillips, Megan Piontkowski, and Tamas Veszi
Date of Action: May 3
Region: North America
Location: Brooklyn War Memorial, New York
Subject: Explicit Sexuality
Medium: Film Video, Installation, Painting, Performance Art, Photography, Public Art, Sculpture
Confronting Bodies: New York City Parks Department, Julius Spiegel
Description of Artwork: Plan B was a senior thesis art show for Brooklyn College Master of Fine Arts students. The pieces themselves were numerous and various, including a wooden shack which, inside, displayed a video on a 6-second loop, a registration space for a fake company called Belvedere Cloning Corporation, a painting of a nude male torso with writing on it that mentioned oral sex, and a plaster cast of an artist's hand holding his penis.
The Incident: Brooklyn Arts commissioner Julius Spiegel ordered that the show be shut down and the locks changed, after receiving an unspecified number of complaints concerning the sexual content of some of the pieces. The artists were not permitted to see their work for some time, which led to a rally outside of the war memorial. When the artists were finally allowed to see their work, which had already been taken down, much of it was damaged, some pieces beyond repair.
Results of Incident: An alternate exhibition was set up in DUMBO some time later. The students also sued the city for infringing on their first amendment rights and damaging their artwork. They won the suit, and each artist received $750 in damages, as well as compensation for legal costs. Spiegel has since released a public apology to the artists.
See also http://ncac.org/art/20060508~NY-Brooklyn~Brooklyn_College_MFA_Show_Shut_Down.cfm and http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/07/nyregion/07protest.html?pagewanted=print