FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The exhibit at the University of Florida was taken down, after administrators said they wanted to clarify that the art represented the views of the artist, not the university. After the exhibit was taken down, the building was vandalized with “Fuck off, fascists” written on the plywood over a shattered window. In turn, the university displayed a sign next to that graffiti saying, “This is artists’ speech, not UF speech.”
In response to the removal, PEN America’s senior manager of free expression and education Kristen Shahverdian, said: “It’s disappointing to see yet another removal of art on a Florida campus this year based on its political subject. While it is always acceptable for a university to denounce a political view that runs counter to their mission or values, it is absurd that anyone would confuse a gallery exhibit, let alone graffiti, with a university’s official positions. It is unfortunate to see university administrators order an art show taken down, without respect to artistic freedom; this is even more worrisome amid other recent art cancellations and the growing efforts to exert government control over expression state-wide. A wide range of artistic expression must be allowed on college campuses, where the free exchange of ideas is paramount.”
This kind of crap is getting really old.