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Protesting Censorship at MACBA, Trio Quits International Museum Committee's Board

On Monday, November 9, Van Abbemuseum director Charles Esche, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art director Abdellah Karroum, and SALT director of exhibitions and programs Vasif Kortun announced their joint resignation from International Museum Committee’s Board, reports Hyperallergic.

According to Hyperallergic’s Claire Voon, “Their frustrations stem from a controversy that began in March, when [CIMAM President Bartomeu] Marí suddenly cancelled “The Beast and the Sovereign,” a group exhibition at the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, MACBA—where he was then director—objecting to a sculpture by Austrian artist Ines Doujak. The work, titled Not Dressed for Conquering/HC 04 Transport, 2011–portrays former king of Spain Juan Carlos I being sodomized by the late Bolivian labor leader Domitila Chúngara, who is in turn being mounted by a grinning wolf.”

Even though Marí resigned a few days after reversing the cancellation, Paul B. Preciado and Valentín Roma, two of the four curators of the exhibition (the other two are Iris Dressler and Hans D. Christ, co-directors of the Württembergischen Kunstvereins Stuttgart), were fired by him, a gesture that's infuriated many and is being called censorship.

For more on the exhibition at the heart of MACBA’s recent troubles, see Jessica Lott’s Critic’s Pick of the show.