Re: SFAI - What's happening?

From: Shelly Silver (email suppressed)
Date: Thu Apr 16 2009 - 05:21:07 PDT

it's always shocking to me, though it shouldn't be, when people's
stated 'Politics' and 'politics' have little to do with each other.
also interesting and unsavory(as you point out Chris), is the
question of who the art world is gleefully ready to go after, and who
it is not (the administration of Parsons vs the curatorial star of

It then becomes our responsibility to be the conscience of the
art/academic world - not a terribly placed responsibility as, i know
in the back of my mind i'm thinking 'this could happen to me'

how to make enough noise?

>Hey Brett,
>Thanks for raising this.
>My assumption is that the administration is basically hoping it can hold its
>breath as long as they can, or at least until the current cohort of students
>who care deeply about these faculty clear out (the wonders of short term
>memory). There hasn't been quite enough press and I think their assumption
>is that the art world won't notice, or won't respond. The fact that one of
>the deans responsible for the firings is superstar curator Okwui Enwezor
>probably has a significant chilling effect on art publications raising this
>issue (unlike, say, the news item about a similar event at Parsons in the
>NYT that Art Forum recently linked to).
>It's unfortunately another case of administrators using the cover of crisis
>to settle scores or make unpopular changes in an institution. I believe this
>is called the Shock Doctrine in the political sphere... The Dean himself
>told a group of CCA curatorial students a year and a half ago that the
>particular crises of a school like SFAI was fertile ground for significant
>changes. Wish I had the specific quote...
>Hopefully the letters of Steve and others will generate some much needed
>publicity. The petition is currently at about 650 signatures. Be nice to get
>it over a thousand. I know this list has 700 members...
>Think about it. I might even throw in an Obama button...
>At the very least, the petition serves as a series of strong testimonials as
>to the strengths of the fired faculty. I'm a recent grad and I can attest
>that two of the professors (Janis Lipzin and John Rapko) had a significant
>impact to my own practice and I have seen secondhand the impact that at
>least two of the others had on many others....
> for those interested.
>On 4/15/09 10:22 PM, "FRAMEWORKS automatic digest system"
><email suppressed> wrote:
>> Date: Wed, 15 Apr 2009 15:31:26 -0700
>> From: Brett Kashmere <email suppressed>
>> Subject: SFAI - What's happening?
>> Apologies in advance if this subject has already been broached on Frameworks
>> and slipped past me, but I've recently learned of the San Francisco Art
>> Institute's decision to fire nine tenured faculty members, including Janis
>> Crystal Lipzin, who has been at the Institute for over 30 years. I'm
>> wondering what we can do collectively and as individuals to address the
>> situation. Steve Anker has written a very eloquent and impassioned letter
>> that is now circulating, and which can be read here (along with some
>> additional letters):
>> Steve's letter is dated April 3rd. I'm curious what the administration's
>> response has been since then, and if there are any other updates?
>> Thanks,
>> Brett Kashmere
>> Oberlin College
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For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.