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“A Fire in My Belly” is a short, silent film made in 1987 by the artist David Wojnarowicz, well known in the art world for his thought provoking, lyrical films and installations and for his AIDS activism. Last year, curators edited “A Fire in My Belly” down to 4 minutes for inclusion in an exhibit called “Hide and Seek” at the National Portrait Gallery, which is part of the Smithsonian. The Catholic League condemned the exhibition, mentioning Wojnarowicz’s piece as “anti-Christian” because of an image of a crucifix with ants crawling on it. Then, John Boehner spoke out against the exhibition and threatened public funding for the Smithsonian, causing the museum to pull Wojnarowicz’s piece from the gallery. Now you can see “A Fire in My Belly,” both the original and the edited version, at the Ackland Museum on the campus of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Cary Levine, an assistant professor of Contemporary Art at UNC, joins WUNC’s The State of Thingshost Frank Stasio to talk about art, politics and censorship.Listen Now
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