Friday, February 08, 2008
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Well, it is that time of year again. IMOCA's new semester of 101 study sessions. Free to the public. So this semester, if you are interested sexuality in contemporary art, performance and gender roles in art or you are just curious, be sure to check out the lineup.
Sexual Performance: Gender Roles in Art will discuss such ideas as the power of the “goddess” or feminine spirit invoked and represented in Ana Mendieta’s photographs; the history of androgyny and cross-dressing from 19th-century “dandies” to The Rocky Horror Picture Show; and the expression of masculinity in Matthew Barney’s Cremaster Cycle—named after the muscles responsible for what Seinfeld called “shrinkage.”
Led by Butler University Professor Elizabeth K. Mix, each iMOCA 101 session includes historical context and a look at notable movements and influential figures in each field. iMOCA 101 was developed to educate the public on today’s contemporary art trends.
The four-part series will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays on Feb. 20, March 19, April 16 and May 21 at the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art galleries, 340 N. Senate Ave.
The classes include:
Feb. 20—Femininity and Feminism
Take a look at “the gaze” theory of Laura Mulvey, who introduced the concept that a film audience is forced to regard the action and characters through the viewpoint of a heterosexual male, thus reducing the women to objects. This session includes feminist reactions to the “gaze in the work of Cindy Sherman, as well as Mendieta’s invocation of the goddess through sculpturally posed photographs and Orlan’s attempts to make herself look like a computer-generated ideal through numerous plastic surgeries.
Explore how Barney’s Cremaster film series expresses masculinity through allusions to reproductive organs and the process of sexual differentiation. Other artists discussed will include Bruce Nauman, David Politzer and Vito Acconci, whose most notorious performance, Seedbed, involved him fantasizing aloud and masturbating as gallery visitors walked over him.
Why did art historians place homosexual art and artists back in the closet? Find out in this survey of work from Ancient Greece through the Renaissance and 19th-Century Neoclassicism up through today. Discussion will include the frankly erotic work of Robert Mapplethorpe, Catherine Opie’s photographs of transgendered people and Paris is Burning, a 1990 documentary on New York City drag balls.
May 21—Androgyny, Transgender and “Drag”
Who’s got gender trouble? The session looks at Judith Butler’s theory that sexuality and gender are culturally constructed through the repetition of stylized acts in time. We also explore cross-dressing, the development of Queer Theory and Marcel Duchamps’ alter-ego Rrose Selavy.