CIMAM statement about the ‘Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World’ exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

Following the withdrawal of works from the ‘Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World’ exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, the CIMAM board has been considering an appropriate response. There are two key issues: How should museums address the presentation of artworks that involve live animals and/or the documentation of live acts, and how might museums anticipate and respond to threats of violence and abuse directed at the institution because of content.

The Board of CIMAM believes that both of these issues are of increasing urgency and require careful deliberation. We have therefore decided to give them priority at our next board meeting in Singapore with a view to issuing guidelines to assist CIMAM members in dealing with such situations and ensuring museums are able to uphold their commitment to artists in the presentation of their work and to free expression.

We would welcome comments from members in advance of our meeting in November.