BROOKLYN (PIX11)—An upcoming exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum is angering some New York Catholics. A short film called "A Fire in My Belly" by the late David Wojnarowicz shows ants crawling on a crucified Jesus Christ. It is part of a larger show called HIDE/SEEK.
"Ants crawling all over the crucified Christ is sacrilegious. It is a sacred symbol to more than a third of the population of Brooklyn," said Msgr. Kieran Harrington. The spokesman for the Diocese of Brooklyn says they wrote a letter to the museum asking to have the film pulled. "HIDE/SEEK" explores gender and sexuality and it opens next week.
This is not the first time the Brooklyn Museum has caused controversy with its art. Back in 1999 Mayor Giuliani threatened to cut off funding. He found a portrait of the Virgin Mary splattered with elephant dung offensive.
"I think it's important to have different views and it makes people talk about it, right?" said Chelsea Sheridan, a non-practicing Catholic from Brooklyn. Andrew Wilkins of Queens thinks "everyone has freedom of expression. I don't think I would go as far as to prevent it from being shown."
The Catholic League also is against this film. And it's protested it before. The film was pulled from the Smithsonian in Washinton DC back in December 2010. "It is always Jesus, never Mohammed. Never the Star of David. Why is it always our religion?" said spokesman Jeff Field.
"We don't think other religious groups would be subjected to this sort of treatment," said Msgr Harrington.
The ants are just a short part of the film "A Fire in My Belly". The Brooklyn Museum says in the unfinished film, the artist explores his own feelings of outrage and human suffering. The exhibit opens November 18th and runs until February 12, 2012.