Name just about any popular book, any classic novel, or any groundbreaking piece of writing, and you will find at least one link to controversy. For example, some groups believe the Harry Potter series promotes Satanism. Fahrenheit 451 was banned from a high school in Mississippi in 1998 after a parent complained of its singular use of the word "goddamn." Even the American Heritage Dictionary has faced irrational freak-outs; in 1978 a Missouri library banned its pages from its shelves, and it was banned again in 1987 by an Anchorage school board, which felt that the publication was inappropriate because it contained "objectionable words." A group show, "Altered Pages," will celebrate the epic list of banned, burned, and censored books by doing the same to their pieces of art. John Marshall turns the dictionary into a pyramid sculpture, its pages stacked and chopped until it reaches a tiny point. Toni Dachis's ironic installation, The Message Is Clear, features nonsense text posted above a book, suggesting that the written word—like any art—is always open to interpretation. The group show will feature a variety of paintings, installation, photography, and more. There will be an artists' discussion panel will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, February 20.
Feb. 4-27, 2010