While I am extremely grateful for the amount of coverage that the City Paper devotes to our local art community, I must express my great dismay at three factual inaccuracies found in Kriston Capps’ critic’s pick of “Supple” (5/4), the show I curated at the Warehouse.
1. Capps calls artist Adrian Parsons’ piece shrapnel a “performance.” The exhibition listing provided at the gallery clearly states that the piece is a “live installation,” phrasing that alters the context of the work as a whole. This is a minor mistake.
2. Speaking of shrapnel, Capps states that Parsons, “circumcised himself in an unannounced performance at the show’s opening.” In actuality, I personally gathered viewers from throughout the Warehouse to come view Parsons’ piece. I explained that Parsons would be doing a “performance” (in the situation it was the easiest term to use to gather viewers). Once in the gallery where shrapnel would take place, I announced to the viewers that what was to follow would be graphic, and that if they were squeamish, they should leave. While I did not inform the crowd that a live circumcision would be taking place, they were informed that a graphic event would occur.
3. Capps says I “didn’t clue in the other artists or the beleaguered Warehouse venue about the nature of the bloody snip.” The statement that I did not inform the owners of the Warehouse that a live circumcision would be taking place is completely false. In actuality, I informed Molly Ruppert (co-owner of the Warehouse) that Parsons would be performing a live circumcision in the gallery and asked her permission for it to take place. She granted permission.
The inaccuracies identified above are serious. Given the controversial nature of Parsons’ live installation, I would have thought that Capps would have at least attempted to interview me prior to publishing his piece. He did not. It is imperative for curators to be trusted by the owners of the gallery space mounting their shows. Capps’ fictional account of some of the events surrounding “Supple” is an unfair portrayal of a show that I worked so hard to mount and has portrayed me personally in an inaccurate and unfavorable light.
Disliking a show as an art critic is one thing. Damaging a person’s professional credibility by stating falsehoods is irresponsible and not only puts in question the professional integrity and objectivity of the writer but also of the City Paper.
KRISTON CAPPS REPLIES: Late the evening of the performance and then again after receiving Kirkland’s letter, Molly Ruppert explained to me that she gave permission for a piece that involved cutting of some kind, but that she was never aware that Parsons would be circumcising himself.