Monday, September 25, 2023

The Stalin by Picasso Case: Cooper Union vs. Lene Berg

On November 8th we reportedon Cooper Union’s alleged act of (questionable) censorship of Lene Berg’s art installation. For those interested in a more detailed account of this situation, there is a link to documentation of it at The Stalin by Picasso Case site. Below is a brief introduction to the information found on this website.

New York City’s Cooper Union college approached Berg in August about an autumn show; she agreed, if she could hang the banners on the school’s historic Foundation Building, as well as display the book and video. The exhibit opened as planned October 29. Then, on October 31, without notifying Berg, the administration had the banners removed. Berg learned of this from exhibition curator Sara Reisman on November 1 and demanded her show be shut down. Only on November 6 did the college issue a statement, which blamed a permit violation. It also mentioned the seventy-fifth anniversary, on November 15, of the Holodomor, the forced starvation of millions of Ukrainians by Stalin, which the neighborhood’s Ukrainian community was planning to commemorate nearby.

What follows are video excerpts of Stalin by Picasso; documentation of the installation, controversy, and de-installation, in the form of materials provided by Berg and culled from the Internet; and a statement.



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