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Monday, October 22, 2012

LACMA's Showing the Mapplethorpe Photos That Nobody Shows

Posted by on Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 3:36 PM

In this story from over the weekend in the LA Times, we learn that the Los Angeles County Museum of Art yesterday opened an exhibition of Mapplethorpe's X, Y, and Z portfolios. Since the 1989 Washington, D.C. firestorm over Mapplethorpe that kicked off the idiotic Culture Wars, the X portfolio—staged, black-and-white S&M photos—hasn't been seen except once, in Santa Monica, in 1990, Jori Finkel reports.

There may be no public reaction at all to the LACMA show, which runs through March 24. But these things tend to go in unexpected directions. Remember Seattle's connection to Mapplethorpe in the form of a cowardly director? I'm referring to Christina Orr-Cahall, now leading EMP (and I wrote more details about her original decision to pull the entire Mapplethorpe exhibition off the schedule at the Corcoran here).

And recall what happened here at The Stranger in 2009 when we tried to show one of these pictures. This (below) was what we'd intended to do, but no.



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