Artist: Linda Griffith
Confronting Bodies: Orchard Artworks and Bryn Athym Church of New Jerusalem
Date of Action: September 2001
Specific Location: Orchard Artworks, Bryn Athyn, PA
Description of Artwork: The exhibition included several politically charged photos on ecological topics: “Republican Pro-Life” depicted a small earth floating in a bloody pool of water, “Lower Moreland Legacy” showed three stumps of trees that were cut down to build townhouses, “Messenger of Peace by the Road in Bryn Athyn” depicted a dead deer lying on a borough road, “Making the World Safe for Democracy (and Builders)” showed dirt from an area that was bulldozed to build a golf course in Lower Moreland, PA.
Description of Incident: Although the works were approved by the jury of the “Uncertain Future: Earth Found, Used and Abused” exhibition at Orchard Artworks, they were removed from the walls of the gallery the day after their installation. According to Tracy Cass, director of Orchard Artworks, they didn’t harmonize with the policy of Bryn Athyn Church of New Jerusalem, namely, that church-owned buildings are not to be used for political statements. Linda Griffith was told by a gallery board member that “80 percent of Bryn Athyn is Republican, and the Artworks cannot offend its customers base."
Results of Incident: Orchard Artworks did not display these works. As Orchard Artworks is a private venue, they are not compelled by the First Amendment to allow the expression of viewpoints they might not like.
Source: The Inquirer, The Intelligencer, NCAC
Submitted By: NCAC
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