Elisabeth Akkerman

Elisabeth Akkerman - curator

- on Tom Moody


Anonymous said...

Great curator, great eye. So a piece in one of her shows got censored. That's her fault?

Someone please turn up the IQ over here.

Buck Naked said...

What do you mean by "got censored"? Whose decision was it to remove the piece?

Anonymous said...

read the last paragraph of Moody's piece a little more carefully and you might get a clue. if ur still havin trouble get back to me. and give the poor gal an O...

Buck Naked said...

The last paragraph only speculates on who might have been offended, nothing about the decision process leading to the removal, or how strenuously the curator may have argued against that censorship.

I appreciate all of your many comments today, but ask that you not comment without speaking from direct experience. I have to delete so much random shit from here.

Have you been in any shows she has curated?

Anonymous said...

The only comments I make are from many years of direct, intimate experience. Some of it you may not agree with, so I guess it's your prerogative to delete it, since it's your party. I would only hope that someone who chooses to host a blog on NYC dealers, curators and critics - and appoints him or herself judge, jury and executioner - has some serious creds. I'm very familiar with Akkerman, OMI, her boss, and the complex politics involved. Although it was very unfortunate that the piece was removed, (I've had my own work censored in a public space before, know how it feels), blaming Akkerman is naive.

Sadly, so is most of this blog. It may have started out with a great premise but has quickly reverted to a collection of trivial and petty gossip, mostly contributed by a few amateurs with axes to grind. Hardly helpful for young artists trying to wend their way through the challenges of the art world - if that was truly your mission. Right now it reads like a page out of the National Enquirer.

If you really want to create a valuable resource guide to the NY Art Scene, one that people might take seriously, I have a friend who works @ Zagat who might be interested. But first you've got to be wiling to lose the Ratfinkcanary persona, and put your name where your mouth is....

PS: Don't be too hasty to delete this entry. Leave it up for a while- it might just help you get some feedback on how to improve your blog.

Buck Naked said...

I was hoping to host a more nuts-and-bolts forum, through which artists can help each other out by sharing information.

- who doesn't ever pay?
- who takes forever to pay, and only after much cajoling?
- who is awesome?
- who supports your work so strongly that they continue to show it over and over, despite zero sales?
- who won't give back your work?
- who won't tell you where your work has disappeared to?
- what are studio visits like with curator X and gallerist Y?
- who loves your work, until it doesn't sell?
- who makes promises, only to dash hopes?
- who lies?

Stuff like that. I'm trying to keep up with the moderation and deletion of comments that don't feel right.

tom moody said...

"I'm very familiar with Akkerman, OMI, her boss, and the complex politics involved. Although it was very unfortunate that the piece was removed, (I've had my own work censored in a public space before, know how it feels), blaming Akkerman is naive."

What are these complex politics? Please share. Also, any particular reason you didn't mention Akkerman's boss by name?

Lastly, how in the world can you have a beef with someone for posting anonymously when you do the same?

Anonymous said...

decisive, thoughtful, professional, a real pleasure to work with, elisabeth commissioned work from on behalf of the Greenburger Foundation.

justin said...

I have never met Akkerman or worked with her, but I have certainly been in both positions. Having my own public work removed by offended parties and having an artist's work in a show that I curated removed. Both suck, but rarely is it worth it to go to bat for the work's re-instatement. That is because most of the time the actual pretenses under which the work was removed are being hidden under layers of false pretenses that are presented to an ignorant public. So in order to defend the work against censorship you must first get the censoring parties to admit the actual reasons to the public. There is another example too, maybe even more common. The work is censored for reasons which have nothing at all to do with the work itself. That seems to have been the case here. It is supremely stupid to defend a work's censorship based on "freedom of expression". It robs the artist of any agency they might claim to speak their own minds. That some artists will defend their OWN work on these grounds continually amazes me.

Anonymous said...

In reference to the whole 'censored' work thing, I took a look at the work and read about the situation 'on Moody' and it seems to me that this really is not properly about censorship per se.

It seems a photo of a cutely placed broche on a bust, while making visual tension enough to make the work interesting, it seems that the work itself was not edited or 'censored' because of its ‘art content’ at all. The piece got moved because the piece was in the lobby of a breast-screening clinic.

The amount of women sweating in fear in the mammogram office is horrible. I know that because as I sit here, an artist, without hair, going through chemo, I can tell you women are more than superstitious or mildly freaked out going in for mammograms. The what-looks-to-be a bee/weird corn broche on the breast of the woman in the photo is just kind of really bad omens/vibe/timing for women having to walk in and face what is now a 1 in 4 chance of them having actually bad news coming forth. No blue ribbon prize. Facing not a cool death. Not to mention the artwork comes off in this situation to look callow, like a poorly timed joke. No one could have foreseen that.

It seems as unfortunate and discomforting a placing of work as might be having a Paul McCarthy piece in a pediatrics waiting room.

And it seems almost as twisted as a Foxx News story to interpret this situation as the curator is somehow buckling to ‘censorship.’ I don’t see how you could fault Akkerman really. I don’t see this as a sensibility instance, its more one of sensitivity. Like you wouldn’t hang a bunch of deathbed masks in a hospice. It’s a no win situation. For both the curator and this work of art.

Buck Naked said...

The artwork was displayed in the lobby of an eighteen-floor office building, not in the lobby of an individual office within the building.

The art was not displayed in the lobby of a breast-screening clinic.

Anonymous said...

Bare naked

I understand that the piece is in the lobby. If the piece is 'greeting you,' its an unfortunate placement of the piece. The lobby is the clinic's front door factually.

I can not see in this case how these concerns are trumped up or over-reaching if the piece is in the eye-line walk into the clinic. 1 in 8 women will eventually walk out of that clinic with what will be a death sentence because of their breasts.

our modern world is so abstracted that I think sometimes the meaningful lines, the rituals that remind you of the profound place someone may be in, well they are completely out of context and missed.

this confluence of things here seems Orwellian or Kubrickian-if you have dark humor.

you have an office building with one floor giving out death sentences for breasts. I mean really really think about it. They have to walk in there every year and find out their 'sentence.' Its not like walking in to work at MTV. I don't think the clinic is trumping up false sensitivities.

Iff the work was in a side gallery or side lobby sitting room, then you have a good case that the piece should remain up, and that the concerns are over reaching maybe.

nothing seems unethical against art here to me.

tom moody said...

"Death sentence": dramatic words!

I'm very sorry about anonymous's condition, that's horrible, but the anger is misplaced.

Causes of the breast cancer epidemic are thought to include environmental factors such as the toxic trace chemicals in air, food, and water, as well as radiation, shiftwork, and other stresses and hazards of modern life.

Instead of attacking the root causes, which is hard, sacrificing art and artists is always a good solution! An artist with a sense of humor that has produced an image of mammary health--an even better goat.

"Paul McCarthy outside a pediatrics waiting room" isn't a very good comparison for this outrage of depicting healthy breasts.

I would suggest Mapplethorpe's Man in a Polyester Suit outside a lab where prostate cancer screening is done.

Anonymous said...


there was no 'anger' in expressing the situation. I am not sure why you attribute anger with concern.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news- but things are more subtle than just dismissing concerns by trying to polarize an argument.

The image is not just of a healthy breast-there is a stick pin-a broach in the nipple of it.

Reducing out the details of the work to make your point you also erase out the tension point of the actual art work. Your in effect 'censoring' out the content of the work for your argument.

The point of tension in the work is the point of pain. Inadvertently. It is not just an 'image of a healthy breast.'

I would substitute out the healthy penis analogy and replace your Mapplethorpe with another Mapplethorpe, a fisting shot hung in a prostate exam room.

Read more carefully. Look more carefully. Think more carefully. And try a little love.

tom moody said...

"The image is not just of a healthy breast-there is a stick pin-a broach in the nipple of it."

The brooch is sticking into the cloth of the sweater, which is how brooches are usually affixed to fabric. This is mirrored by the trophy ribbon stuck to the flowers opposite.

To read it as an attack on a breast, you have to ignore other elements of the picture.

But more to the point, the brooch is clearly hanging from the breast, not stabbing into it. To read it otherwise is projection, or something.

Should art be removed from public view because one person reads it in an overwrought and emotional way? I don't think so.

(Sorry to be having this discussion here, Buck, but it goes to the issue of curatorial support for the art.)