A London theater canceled the premiere of new Andres Serrano film on January 6 because it was too ‘pro-Trump’


A London theater has canceled an upcoming screening of Andres Serrano’s new film about the January 6 riots after deeming the work “pro-Trump”, according to the artist.

Insurrection, as the film is called, was due to screen on November 11 at the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square, followed by a Q&A with Serrano. But then the theater informed the artist that the event had been unceremoniously canceled.

“They said [the film] was pro-Trump,” the artist said in an email to Artnet News. “That’s ridiculous. I’m as much ‘pro-Trump’ as I am a Jesuit priest.”

“I’m not going to call it censorship, even if it is” Serrano keep on going. “It’s more about freaking out over nothing.”

Lasting 75 minutes, Insurrection collages of news clips and smartphone footage from the January 6 attacks with footage of the Great Depression riots and other historic events. The film – Serrano’s first – debuted in Washington, DC, in January, exactly a year after the events it depicts, but has not been widely released since.

This may be due to the extreme nature of the film. Included in its moving image mix are shots of Fidel Castro, Malcolm X, and Xi Jinping; footage of Black Lives Matter protests and cheerleaders performing at a right-wing rally. A clip shows a POW being executed.

The film’s source material is so mixed that it’s not hard to see why the theater – or any viewer – would question its author’s intent. Serrano previously said Insurrection could be “one of the most violent and controversial films ever made”, and predicted that Trump himself would love it.

This sense of ambiguity was intentional, he explained, noting that Insurrection was intended as a “fictional production by DJ Trump referencing and using title cards by DW Griffith’s [1915 film] Birth of a Nation.”

“The film can be seen in many ways,” Serrano said. “If you are a Trump supporter, an insurgent or Donald Trump himself, you will be proud of what you see. If you’re the opposite, it will confirm everything you feel about January 6 and Donald Trump.

“What I did with the film,” Serrano continued, “is let people speak for themselves with their words and actions. No problem with that.”

“The Game: All Trump” by Andres Serrano. Photo: Sarah Cascone.

Insurrection is not Serrano’s first attempt to artistically approach the Trump phenomenon. In 2019, the artist staged an installation of nearly 1,000 pieces of Trump memorabilia, including Trump steaks, Trump college diplomas, and even a keepsake cake given to guests at Trump’s 2005 wedding with Melania. Serrano spent up to $200,000 to find the items on eBay and elsewhere. (The cake alone costs nearly $2,000.)

At the center of the exhibit was Trump’s own portrait of Serrano in 2004, taken from the original set of The apprentice. The photo was one of 100 that included the artist “America” ​​series.

“Trump is very polarizing,” Serrano told Artnet News during a 2019 preview of the show. and I’m not that kind of artist. I don’t take sides.

After the Prince Charles Cinema canceled its screening of Insurrection, Serrano and his team looked for other screening options. The film will now screen at St. John’s Church in Hyde Park in London on November 11.

“All that shouting and shouting in a church is going to be great!”

The Prince Charles Cinema did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay one step ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to receive breaking news, revealing interviews and incisive reviews that move the conversation forward.


Comments are closed.