Motion Picture Division

Created after extensive research at the State Archives in Albany, this suite of works document film scenes censored by New York State government’s Motion Picture Division in the early 20th century. Film standards were not gender neutral; they skewed heavily toward curtailing the representation of women-identified characters’ bodies, liberties and sexual freedom. Weist located as many of the eliminated scenes as she could, creating wallpaper out of the taboo imagery and a short film that stitched the scenes together. She then submitted the film to the Motion Picture Association (MPA) who gave it an R rating by today’s standards. As part of this process, the MPA now has oversight over public imagery associated with the film which, according to their ruleset, must be “appropriate” for all audiences. The exhibition Governing Body features movie posters for Weist’s film that were rejected by the MPA because they depict breastfeeding, childbirth and sculptures of the nude female form among other subjects.

—Rachel Uffner Gallery, 2022

Posters Disapproved by the Motion Picture Association
steel, acrylic, PVC and 4 posters
18 x 24 x 43″

Posters Approved by the Motion Picture Association
steel, acrylic, PVC and 3 posters
18 x 24 x 43″

MPA Rating No. 53558
lightbox with duratrans print
28 x 50 in

Motion Picture Division Association of America [details]
dimensions variable

Governing Body
single-channel video with sound
16 minutes 16 seconds

My editor reviewed the ad and we can’t run this in our publication. Good luck with the project.
newspaper, poster, plaque
23 x 13″
(On March 18, 2022, the Albany Advertiser, the Capital Region’s largest print circulation newspaper, refused to run an ad approved by the MPA because it referenced abortion)