Removed from an exhibit on 1 December, that is, after a few conservative Republicans and Fox News commentators saw it as another government-funded assault on Christmas.
The video installation, which was part of the exhibition Hide/See: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, opens with ants crawling over a crucifix, depicting the suffering of an AIDS victim. House Majority leader and John Boehner lapdog Eric Cantor called it “an obvious attempt to offend Christians during the Christmas season”.
Regarding the video’s graphic nature, exhibition co-curator David C. Ward explained, “That it is violent, disturbing, and hallucinatory precisely replicates the impact of the disease itself on people and a society that could barely comprehend its magnitude.” AIDS, Congressman Cantor should note, is not a seasonal disease that comes and goes with each Christmas. He’s probably thinking of the flu.