Earlier this month the Brooklyn-based artist Sarah White was suddenly removed from the roster of participants in this weekend's West Chelsea Artists Open Studios (WCAOS) after submitting an image pertaining to her planned performance at the Hotel Americano. The performance would have melded components of her artistic work and her actual therapeutic profession, so-called "Naked Therapy" — a hybrid practice that incorporates elements of relationship and sex therapy, often via live video chat. "I was removed from WCAOS after submitting my feature art piece," White explained to ARTINFO today, "by the director [Scotto Mycklebust] who stated in an email that my piece was an 'ad' and not art and that I am a 'commercial entity' and 'not an artist.'" Undaunted, she has decided to press ahead with an abridged performance and public discussion at the hotel on Sunday, the final evening of the open studios event.
"I decided to hold my one-night event to protest the censorship," White said, "to show my work and let people decide if it's art or not, if I am an artist and/or a commercial entity, and to hold an open public discussion forum on the issues of ads vs. art, commercial entities vs. artists, and the professional segregation of women who use the performative body provocatively."