The Super Imposer Removed from Fairfield Center for Creative Arts
Jim Kimberly's sculpture, "The Super Imposer," was removed from the Juried Art Show at the gallery of the Fairfield Center for Creative Arts in Fairfield, CA because it was considered politically controversial.
The interactive sculpture, a two-sided panel with the American Flag on one side and Osama bin Laden on the other, is attached to a stationary bicycle that optically fuses the images when pedaled.
A jury of visual arts professionals had selected ìThe Super Imposerî for inclusion in the Art Show. The piece was removed soon after being put on display, because John DeLorenzo, Director of the Community Services Department, as well as other government officials, considered it too politically controversial in view of the war in Iraq and the military presence in the Fairfield community (Fairfield is home to the Travis Air Force base). Another reason given for the removal of the piece, that it was too big and violated fire regulations, appears clearly pretextual: other large pieces had been previously on display in the same space without any safety concerns and ìThe Super Imposerî was selected by a jury fully aware of its size. Clearly, the viewpoint expressed in ìThe Super Imposerî played a decisive role in the decision to remove it.
Christe Mandrell, Fairfield Visual Arts Association president, resigned from her position because board members of the association refused to protest the Cityís orders to remove the piece.
The National Coalition Against Censorship and the California based First Amendment Project wrote a letter of concern to Community Services Department Director John DeLorenzo, City Manager Kevin O'Rourke and other city officials, urging to have Kimberly's work returned to the art show.