Artist: Joy Crane
Confronting Bodies: USGS(United States Geological Survey)
Date of Action: February 7,2003
Specific Location: EROS(Earth Resources Observation Systems)Data Center, Karl Mundt Federal Building, Sioux Falls, SD
Description of Artwork: The first beaded wall sculpture is a representation of the birth canal with the planet Earth being "born" from it. There is a black recess behind the Earth which has silver planets and stars shining in it as a representation of the universe. The second wall sculpture is a beaded male figure about 8 inches tall suspended by beaded wire from a clear acrylic wall mount. Female power represented by a red loomed vertical piece of beadwork with a slit down the center hangs behind him. It has red beaded wires coming through the slit and curling towards the figure. Five copper-lined beaded wires are suspended in a "uterine" shape around him.
Description of Incident: A show which included the 2 pieces was hung in the public gallery area at EROS Data Center on 1/4/03. On 1/7/03, the chief of EROS told my husband, who works at EROS, to take the 2 pieces down as they were "inappropriate". My husband told the chief that this constituted censorship. The chief said that he was checking with other government offices to see what exhibit "policies" they had in place and would get back to him. In the meantime, my husband took the 2 pieces down. He called me the same day to tell me what happened. I sent a letter of protest to the chief on 1/9/03 asking that the pieces be rehung. I sent copies of the letter to the local newspaper. The chief received my letter 1/10/03 and told my husband he would get back to me in a few days - early the following week. Since I didn't hear anything by the following Wednesday(1/15/03), I wrote to the NCAC and asked for help. Svetlana Mintcheva called the chief of EROS and spoke with him.
Results of Incident: The two sculptures were never allowed back into the exhibit which ended on 1/31/03. On 2/1/03, the local newspaper ran the story with a picture of the "Pregnant Man" sculpture on the front page and the "Creation Theory" sculpture on an inside page. The chief of EROS never got back to me.
Source: The artist, Joy Crane.
Submitted By: Joy Crane