Controversial ArtPrize exhibit removed

6:09 PM, Sep 20, 2012   |    comments
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GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - A Kalamazoo artist went too far with an exhibit he called 'Captivity,' at least in the mind of Greg Gilmore, curator of the The B.O.B.'s exhibition space.

Gilmore this week removed and threw in the trash pieces of 'Captivity.'

In the B.O.B. parking lot is a large cage that is empty, save a piece of hanging rope. Once attached to that rope was a model of the body of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. That was to have been the first of regularly changing exhibits. Others were to portray topics including the rape of Oprah Winfrey and bestiality.

For Gilmore, it was too much in a family-friendly forum. "We don't have a problem pushing the boundaries a little bit, but this was way beyond boundaries."

The artist, Gurmej Singh of Kalamazoo, told WZZM 13, "Art is art. Art is something that creates conversation. Art is something that is thought provoking, art can be upsetting."

Singh is upset over the way Gilmore handled the issue. "I urge other artists to stand up for freedom of expression so they can create what they want and really experiment with art."

Singh's exhibit, called can be seen in its entirety at his blog.

In a statement, ArtPrize said agreements are signed between artists and venues that become a contract.

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