Organizers of an upcoming exhibit considered Richard Kamler’s Koran-Torah collage “offensive” and a “desecration.” Kamler said he was promoting interfaith “dialogue” — and has now been censored for his beliefs.
The organizers rejected Kamler’s submission for an upcoming art exhibit in town. Now a tempest has broken out over free speech and religious expression.
Kamler had submitted a piece for an exhibit set to open Dec. 6 at the John Slade Ely House.
The exhibit features works by over 30 artists inspired by one of New Haven’s architectural gems — the old Orchard Street Shul. Organizers are raising money to revive the once thriving synagogue as a community and religious center; this exhibit is part of that effort.
Meanwhile, what’s not in the show — Kamler’s piece entitled “Right Around The Corner / A Common Ground” — has captured the pre-opening attention.
The piece features a collage with cut-out portions of the holiest books of the Muslim and Jewish traditions, the Koran and the Torah, the first five books of the Bible. Organizers of the exhibit said they rejected his piece not out of censorship, but because of its potential to offend people.
Click here to see what’s in the show.