"> Name: Bush, Cheney Collages Banned - Artwork Made from Flags Called a "Desecration"

Date:  2006-present

Location:  North America

SubjectPolitical/Economic/Social Opinion


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Artist: Artist G. Bud Swenson

Confronting Bodies: The Kennebunk Free Library, the town of Kennebunkport, Maine

Date of Action: November 6th, 2007

Specific Location: The town of Kennebunkport, Maine

Description of Artwork: The artworks were made from discarded American flags and features some flag symbolism. The two collages in question include one of President George W. Bush and the other of Vice President Dick Cheney.

Description of Incident: Swenson was holding an exhibit titled Portraits in a Time of War at the Kennebunk Free Library. The exhibit includes 22 collages made from old American flags that Swenson purchased at flea markets.

Four days into his show, he received a call from Janet Cate, the Library Director, asking him to remove two of his collages, one of President George W. Bush and the other of Vice President Dick Cheney.

He suggested Cate to instead turn the portraits toward the wall. She refused and told him the portraits would be removed.

Swenson drove down to the library later and retrieved the portraits, which he said had been put in a storeroom.

Cate said the two pieces of art were excessively inflammatory and crossed the bounds of acceptable community standards. She felt that the collages were not appropriate . . . for the community because of the Bush familys connection with the area, and noted that they had been the subject of complaints from the public.

This is Mr. Bushs hometown, Cate said, referring to the Bush summer home on Walkers Point in Kennebunkport. It is very local, and thats the community part of the normative community standards.

Results of Incident: The collages were removed, and wo blank spots remained where the Bush and Cheney collages once hung.

Source: Seacoast Online, Portland Press Herald (Maine)

Submitted By: Matthew Lau

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