Region: North America
Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion
Artist: Milo Gralnick, a graduate student at University of Missouri-Columbia
Confronting Bodies: The Art Department at University of Missouri-Columbia
Date of Action: March 2001
Location: Sculpture class, University of Missouri-Columbia, USA
Description of Artwork: Gralnick's project included a slaughtered cow's head, an audiotape playing "Old MacDonald," a napkin that read "McMurder," and McDonald's bibs to distribute to the class. The assignment was to create a sculpture using anything to express a point of view or belief.
The Incident: After presenting his project to the class, Gralnick left the building to get supplies to clean up the blood and to bring back a Big Mac. When he returned, he was required to cover the head, remove it, and meet with the faculty. At the meeting Gralnick was asked to sign a paper saying he understood he would be removed from the class if he compromised a "positive classroom learning environment" again.
Results of Incident: The Art Department claimed that their complaint against Gralnick was one of housekeeping, and not of censoring the content of his piece. They were unhappy that he left the room with out cleaning up the blood. Some suggested it was a health concern, but a practicing doctor confirmed that the head was no less sanitary than any raw meat-which he had permission to use. Despite the claims of the Art Department, Gralnick felt that being made to cover his project was an act of censorship.
Source: NCAC, themaneater.com, 3.16.01, and 4.3.01.