The word is out, and the officials at the Brooklyn Museum have cancelled the AITS exhibition that was due to open its doors early next year. Why? Brooklyn Museum director Aronld Lehman stated the “current financial climate” as the reasoning behind the abandonment of the traveling exhibition.
I find this hard to believe. The Brooklyn Museum should see AITS as an investment just by looking at the LA MOCA’s opening weekend ticket sales. The controversy lies in the show itself and what apparently, according to Deitch, comes along with it. After the “rise of vandalism” in the surrounding LA MOCA areas, in a poor attempt to defend the show Deitch put his tail between his legs and said “it goes with the territory”. Regardless if that is true or not, Deitch essentially let LA officials wag their pointer finger in his face and blame AITS instead of defending the show, the movement, and or the act behind said “rise of vandalism”. Basically, his response was negative and could have easily been more positive and pointed in a direction of understanding instead of blame.
Brooklyn Museum has shown Basquiat retrospectives and other graffiti/street art exhibitions of sorts in the past. Is it possible their money buckets pulled out last minute due to the controversy of the show in LA? NYC’s strict graffiti laws and clean up services may also have something to do with it. The funding could have been pulled by the same people who for the last decade have been trying to keep the city clean.
Pointing fingers doesn’t take away the disservice that has sadly occurred to Brooklyn and the surrounding areas by the abortion of AITS. It would have been interesting to see its transformation into the city which held the birth of the movement. Oh well, I hope the Brooklyn Museum changes their minds and funding gloriously appears so the show can be on view for many others to learn from.