'Fire In My Belly' At Brooklyn Museum: David Wojnarowicz's Controversial Film Will Be Part Of NYC Exhibition

11/09/2011 01:18 pm ET | Updated Jan 09, 2012

The Associated Press

NEW YORK -- A major exhibition of gay-themed art that includes a film of ants crawling on a crucifix is opening at the Brooklyn Museum next week.

The controversial work was pulled from the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., when the exhibition was shown there last year.

"A Fire in My Belly," by the late David Wojnarowicz (Vy-nuh-ROH'vihch), explores the subject of AIDS. A Catholic group called it sacrilegious.

The "Hide/Seek" exhibition opens Nov. 18. It's the first major museum show to explore gay themes in art history.

Brooklyn Museum Director Arnold Lehman said Wednesday the museum received several thousand "pre-programmed" protest emails from a Catholic group when it first announced plans for the exhibition earlier this year.

He called the show an important aspect of American art in the 20th century.

Watch "A Fire in My Belly" (NSFW):