Darja Bajagić & Boyd Rice
Artist: Boyd Rice
Date of Action: September 5, 2018
Region: North America
Location: New York, NY USA
Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion
Confronting Bodies: Invisible Dole
Description of Artwork: Objections were made before any indication of the exhibition's contents had been made public.
The Incident: In September 2018, Greenspon Gallery’s announcement of a two-person exhibition set to feature artists Darja Bajagić and Boyd Rice (curated by Chris Viaggio) stirred up a firestorm of controversy within the New York art world. It began with a series of disapproving and rejective emails exchanged among subscribers of a private Listserv known as the Invisible Dole, who were outraged that Boyd Rice was being given a platform to show his work. Created and administered by artists Josh Kline and Anicka Yi, and predominantly comprised of other 47 Canal affiliates, the digital forum propagated accusations that both artists and even the gallery were pedaling a clear white supremacist agenda.
After excerpts of the Dole’s correspondence were, at first discreetly, shared among a certain network of art world players, they were soon leaked to a wider public and posted online. While the messages—which ranged in content from short, exclamatory remarks of distaste to more directly discernible agendas to shut down the show were not entirely surprising—their collective conspiratorial nature was exposed in stark contradiction with the values they seemed to believe themselves upholding.
Results of Incident: Gallery owner Amy Greenspon ultimately caved in to the pressures applied by those in opposition and chose to cancel the exhibition the night before it was scheduled to open.