Canceled: Alternative Manifestations & Productive Failures

The Center for Book ArtsNew York, NY, April 18 – June 30, 2012.

The Freedman Gallery at Albright College, Reading, PA, October 10 – November 17, 2013.

The Oresman Gallery at Smith College, Northampton, MA, February 5-28, 2014.

“Canceled” was also shown as an exhibition archive for David Horvitz’s “How Can A Digital Be Gift?” at the Goethe Institut, New York, NY, October – December 2012.



Frieze: Adam Kleinman, “Canceled: Alternative Manifestations & Productive Failures”
GalleristNY: Andrew Russeth, “’When Cancellations Become Form’ at the Center for Book Arts” Zachary Sachs, Critic’s Pick (permalink via newsgrist) Alexis Clements, “When Controversy and Failure Become Art”
The L Magazine: Christopher Howard, “The Show Must Go On” Lynn Maliszewski, “Unassuming Publication”


Catalogue Introduction here

Purchase the catalogue through Half Letter Press, here

Audio of “When Cancellations Become Form” at the Center for Book Arts in June 2012 with Sérgio Muñoz Sarmiento here 


Canceled: Alternative Manifestations & Productive Failures presents canceled or otherwise prohibited exhibitions that now exist as publications or in other formats. These publications document the process and politics of cancellation, exist as an alternative manifestation of the exhibit, act as a critique of the forces that called for its cancellation, or may be an admission and exposition of an ultimately productive failure. In the context of the Center for Book Arts, ‘Canceled’ highlights the book form as a crucial means of disseminating documentation and information on a wide and accessible scale, potentially in ways that are more historically stable, and more effective, than the original exhibition would have been. Through utilizing printed matter, these artists and curators have found alternative routes through which the politics surrounding the presentation and creation of art become at least as relevant as the work itself.

A full color catalogue has been produced in conjunction with the exhibition, with essays by Lauren van Haaften-Schick, and contributions by Guerrilla Girls and Sérgio Muñoz Sarmiento. Hans Haacke’s essay Provisional Remarks reproduced with permission.


Exhibitions and Artists’ Projects: 
– Seth Siegelaub, publications, 1968
Manifesta 6, Nicosia, 2006
– Wallace Berman, Ferus Gallery, Los Angeles, 1957
– Hans Haacke, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1971
– Daniel Buren, Sixth Guggenheim International, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1971
– Guerrilla Girls, Billboard for the Public Art Fund, New York, 1989
– Jill Magid, Article 12, commission for the AIVD, 2008; Becoming Tarden, confiscated from Authority to 
Remove, Tate Modern, London, 2010
– Diego Rivera, Man at the Crossroads, Rockefeller Center, New York, 1933
– Robert Mapplethorpe, The Perfect Moment, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1989
– David Wojnarowicz, A Fire in My Belly, censored from Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American  Portraiture, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, 2010
The Aesthetics of Terror, The Chelsea Art Museum, 2008
It’s Me, Beijing, 1998
Illegal America, Exit Art, 1982
– Richard Serra, Tilted Arc, 1981 – 1989
– National Endowment for the Arts grants rescinded from Karen Finley, John Fleck, Holly Hughes, and Tim Miller, 1990
– Christoph Büchel, Training Ground for Democracy, Mass MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts, 2006
– Patrick Cariou, Yes Rasta, Celle Gallery, New York; Richard Prince, Canal Zone, Gagosian Gallery, New York, 2008
– Takis, removal of sculpture from The Machine as Seen at the End of the Mechanical Age, MoMA, New York, 1968
– Jo Baer, Whitney Museum of American Art, 1972
– Temporary Services, Why the Exhibit Was Canceled, 2001
Imaginary Coordinates, The Spertus Museum, Chicago, 2008
– Brendan Fowler, BARR tour, 2008
– Bas Jan Ader, In Search of the Miraculous, 1975


Associated Publications, Artworks, and Documentation:

Bas Jan Ader, Greg Allen, the Art Workers Coalition, Josh Azzarella, Jo Baer, Wallace Berman, Christoph Büchel, Daniel Buren, Martha Buskirk, Cameron, Patrick Cariou, Shu Lea Cheang, Dexter Sinister, Mai Abu ElDahab, Exit Art, M. Scott Fajack, Marc Fischer, Brendan Fowler, the Guerrilla Girls, Frank P. Herrera, Hans Haacke, David Horvitz, Douglas Huebler, Wu Hung, Jonathan D. Katz, Jennifer Kotter, Leng Lin, Jill Magid, Robert Mapplethorpe, Mass MoCA, P.P.O.W., Primary Information, Richard Prince, Publication Studio, Michael Rakowitz, Jock Reynolds, Rhoda Rosen, Richard Serra, Seth Siegelaub, Joshua Simon, Manon Slome, Temporary Services, Anton Vidokle, Florian Waldvogel, Lawrence Weiner, Werkplaats Typografie, Marion van Wijk and Dalstar, Amy Wilson, David Wojnarowicz, and many others.


Events for the exhibition at the Center for Book Arts, 2012:

Screening: Rarely Seen Bas Jan Ader Film, David Horvitz, 2007; Guerrillas in our Midst, Amy Harrison, 1992; A Fire in My Belly, David Wojnarowicz, 1987; National Portrait Gallery Protest, Mike Blasenstein & Mike Iacovone, 2010; Bumming in Beijing: The Last Dreamers, Wu Wenguang, 1990. May 23rd.

Artists’ Talk: When Cancellations Become Form, Sérgio Muñoz Sarmiento Esq.  A conversation on moral rights, law as medium, and judges as art critics. June 13th. Listen to full audio here.



Canceled, The Center for Book Arts, Conceptual Art, Institutional Critique, Art Policy, Censorship