Mark of the Beast: Update

Many of the regular readers of my web log know that this past April 23rd, the Los Angeles Police Department raided and closed the Mark of the Beast art exhibit held at the Transport Gallery in downtown LA. Paul Schmelzer wrote an article about that raid for Adbusters on May 11th, titled, Offensive and Aggressive: The War Against Art. In the opening paragraph he mentions some of the exhibits that have taken place at the gallery in the recent past -Yo! What Happened to Peace? (a traveling exhibit of anti-war posters curated by artist John Carr and now on its way to Tokyo Japan), and a showing of works by photographer and installation artist Edward Colver (renowned for his photos of the early LA punk scene). On the evening of May 17th I met Carr and Colver at Factory Place Studios where the Transport Gallery is housed. Along with Mike Russek, Carr is co-director of Transport Gallery. We discussed the attention the police raid has received on the internet, due in large part, Carr said, to my original post Art Show in LA closed by Police. He noted that both the LA Weekly and the Los Angeles Times had sent reporters to investigate the incident, and that Russek had not only been interviewed but had received many phone calls of inquiry regarding the raid. Carr said that while the police claimed to be responding to a single anonymous complaint call about the show, they never entered the gallery. If they were there to shut down an art show for being “offensive and aggressive” as they claim, you’d think that they would at least want to examine the premises to view the offending works. Carr also divulged that dozens of people who witnessed the police raid have stepped forward and expressed a willingness to provide testimony in any legal case. I’ll continue to post details regarding the raid and its repercussions as they are passed on to me by the Transport Gallery. In the meantime, the gallery wishes to thank everyone for their support and encourages others to step forward in its defense.

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