Gonzalo Orquin “Si, Quiero”

Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art

poster for Gonzalo Orquin “Si, Quiero”

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The Leslie - Lohman Museum ’s Wooster St. Window Gallery will present Si, quier o, ( I do) a site - specific installation of work by Rome based artist Gonzalo Orquin . Th is installation re - creates the artist’s images that were scheduled t o be exhibited at a private gallery in Rome in late 2013 . However, the exhibition never occurred because authorities at the Vatican objected to the original photographs and threatened legal action against the gallery . The Vatican claimed the images showed “expr e ssions of affection that do not belong in a place of worship.” The Leslie - Lohman Museum installation will be on view and visible from the street in the Wooster St. Window Gallery 2 4 hours - a - day . Orquin’ s photographs feature same - sex couples kissin g in beautiful baroque Italian churches. According to the artist, who identifies as Catholic, “I f you look closely at my pictures, no one can find blasphemy or sacrilege. A kiss is a gesture of love, of tenderness between human beings .” As quoted in a rece nt 2 interview in the Advocate , Orquin stated that the LGBTQ community “may be ashamed to publicly demand their rights. Politicians are busy with other things and then there is the church. Every day there is a bishop or cardinal who goes on TV to say that ho mosexuals are sick and the natural family needs to be protected. I feel deep anger and shame every time a member of the church insults me in this way. I pray that God will forgive them and I have faith that Pope Francis will help us, why not?” However, the Vatican did not want the images displayed . As repor t ed in the Huffington Post, Vicariate spokesman Claudio Tanturri said the photos violate the Italian constitution. “Italian constitutional law safeguards an individual’s religious feeling s and the fun ction of places of worship . Therefore photos that are not suitable and do not conform to the spirituality of the place offend and infringe upon the advancement of man in the particular place for the expression of faith.” See below for a complete translati on of the Vatican’s letter. Leslie - Lehman Museum Director Hunter O’Hanian says, “This was a very simple decision for us. We heard that the work, these lovely images of people kissing in beautiful settings, was being denied access and we wanted to do some thing about it . In part, it is why this Museum exists. We offer opportunities to show work t hat others won’t, particular ly work that speaks to the gay and lesbian community. These photographs present same - sex couples displaying the same rights that should be fundamental and basic to all.” The installation at the Leslie - Lohman Museum will contain eight 36 x 74 inch banners in each of the Gallery’s window. Translation of Letter from the Vatican to the owners of the gallery in Rome that attempted to exhibit the images: “We have learned from the press that you are planning soon to open an exhibition with the title ‘Trialogo ‘, comprising a number of pictures that are not approved by the competent church authorities, showing expressions of affection that do not belong in a place of worship. In accordance with the law, we herewith formally caution the gallery for contemporary a rt not to show photos or images which are offensive and harmful to the religious feelings of individuals, to the nature of worship in the Church and to the official religious Confession. “We warn that if the present caution is not punctually complied with , the Church authorities will not hesitate to have full recourse to the law and in particular to take action in the competent legal courts in order to protect all legal interests and violated rights.”



from April 30, 2014 to June 24, 2014

Opening Reception on 2014-05-06 from 18:00 to 20:00


Gonzalo Orquin

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