Listing Was Inappropriate

RECEIVED Tue., Sept. 18, 2007

Dear Mr. Black,
    I wish to voice my absolute disgust at the listing of my exhibition at the Else Madsen Gallery in your publication [Arts Listings, Sept. 14]. You will quite understand my reaction if you read what has been written on p.94.
    How can anyone write, “Drawings based on casualties of the World Trade Center destruction, the Iraq war, Hurricane Katrina, and the species expected to go extinct in this century. Happy happy, joy joy.” It is outrageous.
    Can you imagine how anyone who has had a loved one killed in any of these events would react to this listing? I would not be surprised if I started getting hate mail as a result of this misrepresentation of the wording I sent to your listings department.
    I have been working for more than 30 years on concerns most of us have for the state of our world – and the consequences of our actions in the future – and this exhibition addresses some of those issues.
    The performance in which I wrote the names of some of the casualties of the Iraq war (on a drawing that is an ongoing project and will be completed when the last casualty is recorded) was conducted with the greatest solemnity. I wore all black clothing, as did the directors of Else Madsen Gallery and other members of the audience, and no alcohol was served during the evening.
    I hope you will take the necessary steps to redress this egregious insertion that desecrates the memory of those who have been killed and reflects on the integrity of my work.
Claude van Lingen
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