Vandals

Menstuff® has information on vandals, i.e. hoodlums, punks, often with a distorted religious bent.

Transsexual Photo Show Vandalized in Seattle
Photo gallery's window smashed
Gallery vandalized on Easter - A gallary press release
URLs of news stories
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Transsexual Photo Show Vandalized in Seattle


The gallery in Seattle that is exhibiting 19 portraits of transsexual women from my book, Divas of San Francisco, was vandalized over the weekend, apparently by someone who was offended by the photos.

A manhole cover was thrown through one of the plate glass windows of Benham Gallery in downtown Seattle early Easter morning, March 23. On Saturday, March 22, while the gallery was open, someone also smeared feces on the window. (Editor: Looks like someone is trying to tell us what kind of person they are in real life.)

The SeattleTimes story about the incident is below, as well as Benham Gallery's press release, and links to other stories in Seattle media..

Marita Holdaway, curator of Benham Gallery, is courageously standing behind my images, as well as those of three other photographers -- Paul Dahlquist, Fiona Aboud, and Sean Newman -- also being exhibited as part of Benham Gallery's "Erotic Beauty" show.

After being closed for three days, the gallery reopens this morning, March 26, at 11:00 am. The exhibit continues through April 12.

As Marita states in her press release, this vandalism calls attention to the violence and stigmatization that confront transgender people every day of their lives. It was with an eye to educating people about the courage and true humanity of transsexual women I have met at Divas Nightclub and Bar in San Francisco that I have put together both my book and an ongoing series of exhibits of the Divas portraits.

Transgender activist Jamison Green notes that “free expression does not extend to vandalism. A civil society accommodates divergent opinion and freedom of expression, but abhors, denounces, and punishes violence. People who resort to violence to express their reaction to art, should be denounced by public officials, and the perpetrators apprehended and prosecuted.”

And Skye Ambrose, one of the women represented in the show, reminds me that "great art has never been well received at the time it was conceived. Most of the amazing work we study today in art classes was, at it's time, controversial and upseting. This art will live on. It will be remembered and that is what is important!"

Statements of support can be sent to me, or to Marita Holdaway at E-Mail

There is also a blog on the Seattle Weekly website, www.seattleweekly.com/arts/blogs/threadcount/2008/03/benham_gallery_vandalized_for.php , for people who would like to post comments there.

People in the Seattle area can also show support by visiting the gallery (1216 1st Avenue, at University) and telling Marita and the gallery staff that you appreciate their commitment to showing and supporting controversial artwork, despite the misguided responses of some who live in fear and misunderstanding.

David Steinberg
Author/Photographer
E-Mail

Photo gallery's window smashed


A window featuring a display of photographs of transgender women was smashed early Sunday in an act of vandalism the owner of Benham Gallery believes was committed by someone offended by the photos' subject matter.

A large Seattle utility-hole cover (Editor: Otherwise known as a "man-hole" cover or the door to someone's home) was hurled through the window at 1216 First Avenue, breaking the glass, slamming against a wall and damaging the floor when it fell.

The previous day, someone smeared feces on the window while the gallery was open, said Marita Holdaway, the gallery owner. No one noticed anyone until one of the gallery employees saw something on the glass, went out and checked and "saw it was something unpleasant," Holdaway said. Holdaway ran outside and saw a large, bearded man looking at the gallery and laughing.

When she was notified about the window being smashed, she placed a note on the plastic window covering.

"We believe our window was smashed by a person who was challenged by the content of this exhibition. The subjects of these artworks have experienced enough of this kind of cowardliness and violence. We are happy to discuss our curatorial decisions with anyone who wishes to talk with us instead of experiencing this kind of behavior."

The exhibit called "Erotic Beauty" opened March 5, featuring the work of Paul Dahlquist, David Steinberg, Fiona Aboud and Sean Newman. Also during the exhibit, which will continue until April 12, Steinberg led a discussion about his book, Divas of San Francisco, featuring portraits of transsexual women who frequent San Francisco's Divas Nightclub and Bar.

The subjects of the photos have a difficult time living their lives, Holdaway said. "This is discouraging that someone would feel this angry."

According to Seattle police, there are no suspects and no estimate of loss.
Source: By Nancy Bartley, Seattle Times staff reporter

Gallery vandalized on Easter - A gallary press release


Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2008 11:40:45 -0700; From: Benham Gallery E-Mail

On Easter Eve a large pane glass window was smashed with a metal Seattle Utility cover at 1216 1st Avenue, Benham Gallery. Saturday afternoon someone spread feces across our windows.

Marita Holdaway, gallery owner, placed this note on the plastic that covers the broken glass until it is repaired Monday:

"We believe our window was smashed by a person who was challenged by the content of this exhibition. The subjects of these artworks have experienced enough of this kind of cowardliness and violence. We are happy to discuss our curatorial decisions with anyone who wishes to talk with us instead of experiencing this kind of behavior. Happy Easter!"

Censorship is alive, violent and expensive in Seattle.

We would like to thank the Seattle police department for covering the window and securing the premise!

If you have any questions please call 206-622-2480 and ask for Marita.

 
URLs of news stories


seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004303809_gallery25m.html
www.kirotv.com/news/15693805/detail.html
www.komotv.com/news/local/16976126.html
www.seattleweekly.com/arts/blogs/threadcount/2008/03/benham_gallery_vandalized_for.php

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