Wilmington University Student Art Show
Artist: Jennie Williams
Date of Action: January 2020-February 2020
Region: North America
Location: Wilmington, Delaware
Medium: Electronic Media
Confronting Bodies: Wilmington University
Description of Artwork: Williams created this piece as a parody of Caravaggio’s “Judith Beheading Holofernes” (1599). In place of Caravaggio’s characters, Williams depicts the Statue of Liberty beheading President Donald Trump, who has blood splattered all over his body.
The Incident: Williams submitted this piece to a university-wide online student art show. On behalf of the university, Joe Aviola, stated that Williams’ work was removed because it did not align with the “university’s values” and that it could be categorized as violence, rather than an “expression of speech” which would ensure its protection from censorship.
Results of Incident: Although this piece did not breach any showcase rules, as there were no rules in place, the university removed the piece from the online showcase. University officials took down the entire showcase and republished it the next day without Williams’ work.