I like America & America likes me (video short)

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Date: 2006

Region: Europe

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Film Video Print Journalism Television


Artist: Jonathon Hexner

Confronting Bodies: Sleek magazine

Date of Action: Fall 2006

Location: Berlin, Germany

Description of Artwork: The 2 1/2 minute video by Jonathon Hexner, a Boston-based artist, shows him drawing the words "I like American & America likes me" with fuses on paper and later lighting the fuses, creating black smoke.

The Incident: Sleek magazine, a quarterly German art and fashion magazine that is published in German and English, commissioned videos from eight artists to enhance the theme addressed in their magazine, which for autumn was "East-West". Jonathon Hexner’s video entitled I like America & America likes me was chosen as one of the eight videos to be broadcast on a video screen 4 meters high and 50 meters wide above the offices of a publishing house in Berlin. However, shortly before the public display of Hexner’s video, Sleek changed its mind regarding the content of his work. The editors deemed Hexner's video to be inappropriately evocative of the Sept. 11 attacks and worried that the meaning of the video would be misunderstood and seen as anti-American. As a result, Sleek decided not to broadcast Hexner's work on a video screen above business offices in Berlin.

Results of Incident: The German art magazine Sleek canceled the public display of Hexner's video.

Source: Worcester Telegram & Gazette www.telegram.com