2001, 65”(h) x 24” (w) 36”(d), Mixed-media kinetic construction
In Post 9/11 America, just prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and at a time of Strained French-American relations, Nancy Worthington was invited to exhibit a sculpture at the Alliance Française in San Francisco. She courageously exhibited the political/social commentary artwork “The Crossing” from her George Dubya series. Three days after the installation and just prior to the opening reception, The French Cultural Center removed it from the exhibit, censoring the artwork.
The Sunday February 24, 2003 New York Times on-line and in a full page story reported “In Trying To Avoid A controversy, French Center Creates One”.
The article set off an international debate on the issue of the censorship of art and freedom of expression. Ms. Worthington received over 40,000 hits to her website in one week—most in support of Ms. Worthington and against this censorship.
The uproar reached France where the leading newspaper in Paris, Le Monde where,
outraged that the Alliance Française in America would censor the artwork, interviewed Ms. Worthington on March 10.
“The Crossing” and Nancy Worthington’s “George Dubya series” continued to receive worldwide focus and support. In June 2003 The World of Art Magazine, Issue 6, Volume 3, Stockholm Sweden, featured an article about the censorship of “The Crossing” “The Terror Project”—“George Dubya” Art Censored from San Francisco Exhibit.
Professor Jonah Raskin of the Communications Department of Sonoma State University interviewed Ms. Worthington and wrote a special article about “The Crossing” and the effects of censorship, to Discoveries, Sonoma West Times and News, June 11, 2003.
The World of Art Books in 2003 featured “The Crossing” and Nancy Worthington.
In December 2005, “The Crossing” was selected for its first U.S. exhibit since it was removed from the French Cultural Center. Potentially Harmful: The Art of American Censorship at Georgia State University, January 10 — March 10, 2006 “Georgia State University announces the exhibition Potentially Harmful: The Art of American Censorship scheduled for early 2006 in the Ernest G. Welch School of Art & Design Gallery.” Funded by a major grant from the Andrew Warhol Foundation, and in the
company of artists Lynda Benglis, Andres Serrano, and Robert Mapplethorpe,” the exhibit featured a 150 page catalog. Art historian Richard Meyer wrote a critical essay about “The Crossing”. “Moving beyond the shock factor of provocative art, we present art and ideas that may be viewed as controversial while encouraging an open dialogue about the vital role of freedom in creative expression,” says exhibition curator and gallery director Cathy Byrd.