Thursday, April 7, Harvard Dance Center, Studio 1, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA
16:00-18:00 Movement Workshop, hosted by Jill Sigman. Open to dancers and non-dancers (additional info)
Body, Movement, and Gender: Moving and Seeing
What makes movement seem gendered? We will explore this from the mover’s and viewer’s perspectives through guided movement improvisations, detailed imaging exercises to realign the sternum and skeleton, and experiments in locomotion. We will discuss our observations and experiences. Participants need not have formal movement training, just a willingness to move and a curiosity about their bodies and these issues. Participants of all genders are welcome, particularly trans, queer, and other thoughtful practitioners of gender.
Friday, April 8, Yenching Auditorium, 2 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA
7:15 – 8:00 Registration
8:00 – 8:15 Welcome/Opening Remarks by Susan Marine (bio)
8:15 – 8:45 Pavlos Kountouriotis (abstract/bio)
***Please be aware that Pavlos’ performance piece involves frontal male nudity; if this brings you any discomfort, please feel free to step out of the auditorium at any time.
Regarding the Pain of Others: A Performance Lecture on Performance Lectures
This self-visceral and narcissistic performance lecture investigates the medium of performance lectures from Carolee Schneeman’s 1968 “Naked Action Lecture” to Xavier Le Roy’s “Self- Unfinished” (1999) in order to create an affective response upon the self-reflective and mirroring character of the medium itself. A thorough investigation on the stereotypes of the mode of a performance lecture has allowed me to comment on the Austinian performativity of performance lectures. By using Susan Sontag’s writing as a platform for discussion, I dive into a transgressive performance of museology and documentation to construct the subjectivity of a performance lecturer by excluding or eliminating myself to fit the form. Although Susan Sontag explicitly speaks about the performativity of photography, I try to enlarge the notion of what that document might be to include acts of sexuality and social role construction.
Pavlos Kountouriotis, LL.M. adv., M.A., is working as a choreographer and lecturer at Lincoln University (UK). He has previously worked with choreographers such as Trisha Brown, Marten Spangberg, Meg Stuart, Boris Charmatz a.o. He is an associate researcher at Performance Matters (Live Art Development Agency, Goldsmiths & Roehampton Universities) and a member of Sweet and Tender Collaborations.
Organizing Voices: Examining the 1974 Women in Architecture Symposium at Washington University in St. Louis
The 1974 Women in Architecture Symposium at Washington University in St. Louis drew speakers and attendees from across the country to the city and school. These women sought out role models within the profession and struggled to overcome stereotypes and other barriers to their advancement. The symposium allowed for the articulation of concerns specifically related to gender and the profession. The event explored the realities faced by women in the architectural field, and marked the coalescence of a shared narrative of struggles and goals that reached a national audience. The symposium became a performance of gender in its own right; for the first time, female students created a forum for public dialogue and display that directly addressed their sexuality and their role within the academy. In discourse and imagery, the students confronted the limited opportunities available to women within the profession and publicized their own work as designers.
Lindsay Nencheck is a recent graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, where she received both a Bachelor of Science with a major in architecture and history in 2005 and a Master of Architecture in 2010. She is currently organizing an exhibition commemorating the 1974 Women in Architecture Symposium, a student-organized conference held at Washington University in St. Louis, for Spring, 2011.
Sudanese Women find their Path and Voice through Education
In the Sudan, tradition values the role of women in domestic chores such as cooking and housekeeping. Cultural conflict arises in the U.S. when Sudanese women pursue their own interests in obtaining an education and careers that in the past they would not have been able to do. Veronica Abbas, a young Sudanese woman now living in the United States, claims that “Sudanese women… they don’t want to be in the kitchen, they don’t want to get married when they are 14, they don’t want to have 10 kids …and they’re not educated.” Drawing upon some of the concepts of resilience theory, this presentation shares new understandings about challenges that Sudanese women face as they rebuild lives in the U.S. Areas of investigation include how Sudanese women negotiate increasingly complex role changes, which affect their relationships (within families and across generations), their performance in academia and in broader society.
Andy Reyes is a doctoral student in the Higher Education and Administration Program at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. He is also a faculty member in ESL and education at Bunker Hill Community College. He has worked in refugee programs overseas as well as in the U.S.
8:45 – 10:15 Panel 1: Productive Bodies
- ————————————–Lindsay Nencheck (abstract/bio) ————- ————————————— Andy Reyes (abstract/bio) ———— ——————————— —————————————-Susan Harper/ Kristin Alder (abstract/bio)
When Survivors Teach: Embodying and Disclosing in the Classroom
This paper explores survivor identity within Women’s Studies classrooms. We address whether instructors who are survivors of sexual violence should disclose this identity in the classroom. We also explore the impact of “ embodied” survivor identity on the visibility of an instructor’s body of knowledge, and how disclosure (or nondisclosure) affects students’ views of the instructor. Our experiences as instructors and survivors act as a lens through which we examine questions of whether/how to disclose, how disclosure may impact discussions, and how to handle student reaction to disclosure. We use constructivist and feminist pedagogical theory to address issues of the (de)sexualized body in the classroom; ways disclosure may disrupt the subject/object relationship in the classroom; whether disclosure positions the instructor as a “ walking exemplar” of victimhood; and the risk that nondisclosure may shut off avenues of learning/ discussion around violence. We also discuss our own choices around disclosure within the classroom.
Kristin Alder is a graduate student and teaching fellow at the University of North Texas where she is pursuing degrees in both Women’s Studies and Education. Her research interests include not only feminist pedagogy, but global feminism, women and transnational activism, and the role of women’s education in development.
Susan Harper is a scholar of religion, gender, and identity. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from Southern Methodist University. She is pursing an M.A. in Women’s Studies at Texas Woman’s University. Her research interests include religion, personal narrative, queer culture, popular culture, feminist theory/pedagogy, violence prevention.
CADò Versus doc.A´: Scenic Action for a Dancer, Polemics et Cuisine (and the Opposite)
“To serve is the supreme art” (Jesus, year 0). CADò is about giving despite not being able to; giving without any control; giving even when it is impossible. But more than anything, CADò is not being able to give when you want to; CADò is the yoke of serving. This work is meant to stimulate the audience involved in the field of performing arts, although it is dedicated to all consumers. To an audience who seems to desire nothing, that cosmic nothing is possibly everything. And so everything is easily thrown away, everything is consumed, everything is desired, everything is appreciated, everything is disregarded, everything is coded, and everything is defined. There is not much to be eaten. Everything and nothing are useless thoughts!
Cinzía Scordia is a performer, choreographer, dancer, social worker, and artistic director in Berlin. Her choreographic work and creative collaborations have been performed all over Europe, North and South America, and North Africa. Her interdisciplinary and social commitment research path brought her to start a program (Yquasar) for performing arts meetings in Sicily in 2006.
10:15 – 10:30 Coffee Break/Poster Viewing
10:30 – 11:30 Key Performer: Jill Sigman (abstract/bio)
Choreographer, multi-media artist, and theorist Jill Sigman explores the idea of the body’ s facticity as underlying, acknowledged, embraced, violated, re-made, feared, or ignored– but somehow always present— in academic theorizing about the body. What is the “realness” or “thisness” that is always there, regardless of what we might write about it? Jill’s durational performance will involve a ritual with hot wax in which the audience is invited to complete the work along with her, creating a kind of “ theory-body machine” . The presentation will allow for varying degrees of experience/participation. Sigman works in various realms of performance, exploring the body on a continuum from material to object to icon to character. The performance will slide from one to another, giving viewers/participants time to consider how the body can be any or all of these things. Written On is part of a series of durational rituals that present body in this polyvalent way.
Jill Sigman invites both audience members and those who cannot attend to add to the work by submitting texts in advance of the presentation. Texts will be incorporated into the ritualized “ machine” of the work. Please send a theoretical text of your choice that deals with body—your body, women’ s bodies, the sexual body, the academic body, queer bodies, any bodies… Your text can be any length but shorter texts (one sentence to one page) are preferred. Send your text to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jill Sigman asks questions through the medium of the body. Trained in classical ballet, modern dance, art history, and analytic philosophy, Sigman has been making dances and performance installations since the early 90′s. In 1998, she founded her company jill sigman/thinkdance as a vehicle for her performance experiments. In the same year she received her Ph.D. in philosophy from Princeton University. Equally comfortable on a proscenium stage or crawling in the dirt armed with fluorescent waterguns, Sigman transforms deceptively simple actions into explorations of politics, gender, and society; her work currently exists at the intersection of dance, theater, and visual installation. Sigman’s dances have been produced by such New York City venues as Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project, Dixon Place, PS 1 Contemporary Art Center, Dancing in the Streets, and the 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center. Internationally, her work has been shown in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Croatia, Hungary, Slovenia, and India. As a teacher, Sigman offers workshops nationally at colleges and universities; she has been a member of the dance faculty at Princeton University, a movement tutor at the Imaginary Academy in Groznjan, Croatia, a Guest Editor of the Movement Research Performance Journal, and a professor of aesthetics and performance theory at Brooklyn College and The New School. She has recently been teaching in Oslo, Norway, and is currently at work on a multi-site project about huts and sustainable living. See: www.thinkdance.org.
11:30 – 13:30 Lunch: Ticknor Lounge, Boylston Hall, 5 Harvard Yard, Camb., MA
Full-Contact Violin: Deconstruction of Audience Through Risky Composer-Performer Indeterminacy
Full-contact violin isolates elements of sensations and emotional responses through interactive improvisation. The composer-performer has no formal training in violin playing. Rather than to execute a through-composed and notated piece, my role in the composition is to interpret the energies of the live audience into sound and gesture. The psychosomatic development in transitioning from female to male, presenting publicly and sexually in different genders, and investigating a variety of BDSM lifestyle roles has equipped me to diffract perceived sensations and their associations into constituent elements. In a pilot study, for example, the audience was invited to touch the composer performer during performance, a categorically perverse sexual act which the composition redefined as at once musical, creative, pure sensation, erotic, superficial, and exploitative for each audience toucher, witness, and video viewer. As a transmasculine queer who passes as a “model minority” straight man, I harness the emotional impact of exposing myself in conventional concert contexts through full-contact violin performance.
Qian Li is a transmasculine Chinese immigrant, composer, and agent of transformation. He studied gamelan with Thomas Whitman and composition with Gerald Levinson at Swarthmore College. He recently held a workshop in Philadelphia to access conventionally silenced Asian voices through a new work for gamelan and taiko.
13:30 – 14:30 Panel 2: Perverse Bodies
—————————————-Matt Cumbie and Amanda Jackson (abstract/bio)——— —————————————-Qian Li (abstract/bio) ————– —————————————- ——————— ——————Andrés Castro Samayoa (abstract/bio)
thinking seeing standing feeling: object of attention
thinking seeing standing feeling: object of attention is a dance performance that explores the shifting nature of somatic, gendered, and sexual identities through the use of improvisational partnering, the un/layering of clothing, and the embodiment and performance of select gestures. This duet challenges traditional perceptions of the body, and juxtaposes preconceived concepts of masculinity and femininity to question and subvert the heteronormative process of meaning making. Everyday actions, such as hugging, groping, catching, and staring are incorporated and juxtaposed against technical movement vocabulary, questioning the performative nature of these gestures. The work creates a space for the exploration of multiple and shifting identities, and removes the mask that one might don when engaging in academia. It questions who am I, who we are, who you are, and how we come to know this
Amanda Jackson is an MFA student in dance at Texas Woman’ s University and Co-Director of Big Rig Dance Collective in Denton, TX – www.bigrigdance.org. Amanda has been commissioned for guest artist residencies at San Jacinto College and Tarrant County College. She has also presented her choreography across Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and New Mexico.
Matthew Cumbie is a candidate for the MFA degree in dance from Texas Woman’s University. As a choreographer and performer, Cumbie values exploring and subverting traditional ways of thinking about gender and sexuality, often including improvisation and text into his work. He has performed extensively throughout the U.S. and in Mexico.
14:30 – 15:30 Keynote: Tavia Nyong’o (abstract/bio)
The Man-Monster: A Sapphic Tale of 1830s New York
In the summer of 1836, Peter Sewally, a.k.a. Mary Jones, was apprehended for theft while working cross- dressed as a female prostitute. His ensuing trial, and the hand-colored print published shortly thereafter, led to an enduring historical notoriety. His story has been told in relation to the history of male homosexuality, and in relation to the history of prostitution. I have previously explored why it has not as yet been told in relation to African American history. But new archival evidence regarding H.R. Robinson, who published and sold the oft-reproduced image of Sewally, “The Man-Monster,” leads to the surprising but compelling suggestion that Sewally/Jones was primarily legible in 1830s New York, not in terms of “sodomy” but rather in terms of “Sapphism.” Reconstructions of the illicit world of erotic and sensationalist representation that Robinson profited from, I argue, depict a lucrative traffic in pornographic images of female sexual agency and male erotic passivity. In public and private, women were increasingly visible as autonomous and desiring agents, and working class and African American women particularly so. While the history of sexuality is often told “from above,” that is, in terms of the anxious, punitive and patriarchal discourses of enfranchised white men eager to keep or restore power, what might it mean to explore the Sapphic resonances of Sewally/Jones’ tale “from below”? What significance might such an approach have for a queer history that has moved beyond essentialist/social constructionist debates, and embraces the interanimation of lesbian, gay and transgender histories?
Tavia Nyong’o is Associate Professor of Performance Studies at New York University. He holds a Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University. His first book, ‘The Amalgamation Waltz: Race, Performance, and the Ruses of Memory’, won the 2010 Erroll Hill Award of the American Society for Theatre Research. He has won numerous other scholarly awards, including an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship and a Ford Foundation Fellowship. He speaks often at universities and museums, most recently at the Smithsonian Institution’ s symposium on ‘Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture’. He has published widely on popular music, performance art, and is the web editor of the journal Social Text.
15:30 – 15:45 Coffee Break/Poster Viewing
15:45 – 16:15 Lauren Spindler (abstract/bio)
Eliz, a beth
Today, young women are very uniquely historically situated, influenced by women adhering to pre- and post-Women’ s Liberation Movement ideals, as well as politics and current social trends. Eliz, a beth showcases the struggle between living up to others’ expectations and establishing one’ s own unique identity. It speaks to a position that many women currently enrolled in college find themselves in: engaged in an environment hosting a myriad of opportunities while still tied to their basic female biology. This piece addresses the pressures, influences, and biological realities characteristic of the present position of many a female undergraduate during her first years of exposure to academia. Within the framework of “perverse bodies,” Eliz, a beth confronts issues of identity, sexuality, pregnancy, androgyny and solidarity. It is derived from a lived experience of gender performance shared by many but openly expressed by few.
Lauren (Lolly) Spindler graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences at Boston University where she helped found the Boston University Women’s Resource Center and participated in the Graduate Consortium in Women’s Studies. She currently lives in Madrid, Spain where she works as a Language and Cultural Assistants.
Que(e)rying Harvard Men, 1941-1951: A Project on Oral Histories
Little is known about Harvard’s gay history. Only recently did the Harvard Gay and Lesbian Caucus (an alumni group) begin to collect essays on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer alumnae/i’s experiences. Given the dearth of information on these histories, my paper aims to provide historical insights into the performative elements of assumed heterosexuality at Harvard in the 1940s, focusing on eight interviews with non-heterosexual Harvard alumni. This project does not seek to synthesize same-sex desires at Harvard during this time period, but rather, expand our understanding of the multiple ways in which individuals experienced same-sex desires during a time where a collective sense of a gay identity had yet to crystallize. I frame these narratives as simultaneously unique and emblematic of a collective generational struggle against the repression of non-normative sexual desires and absent sexual identities.
Andrés Castro Samayoa (A.B Studies of Women, Gender and Sexuality, Harvard University) is a Fellow for Student Life in the Office of Student Life at Harvard College and a Gates Scholar at Cambridge University in Multi-Disciplinary Gender Studies. Andrés’s research focuses on narratives of sexual identities and spatial histories at institutions of higher education.
Academic Violence and the Asexual Subject: Political, Performative, and Methodological Potentials
In this paper I examine the various constructions of asexuality produced within the academic context, the discursive and political implications of these constructions, the possibilities for political mobilization of asexual subjectivity, and the limits of asexual performativity. Constructions of asexuality emanating from psychological and medical disciplines often characterize asexuality along a binary of dysfunctional/ normative. I explore the violence that each of these constructions imposes on asexual subjects. Using Jennifer Terry’ s model of deviant subjectivity, I show how asexuals take up psychological and medical classifications of a/sexual dysfunction/normativity to carve a unique political space. I then turn to the processes of ability, race, class, gender, and sexuality in the production of the asexual subject to theorize the limits of asexual politics and show the various ways that asexuality is embodied and performative. I conclude with a call for new ways of theorizing asexuality within the academy for just, transformative, and queer futurities.
Megan Kough is a second year MA student and Graduate Teaching Associate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at The Ohio State University with a graduate interdisciplinary specialization in Sexuality Studies. Her research interests broadly involve using queer, feminist, and critical anthropological methodologies to theorize asexual subjectivity.
16:15 – 16:45 Poster Viewing/Breakout Session
Litigating the Student Body: How Title IX Shapes the Performance of LGBT Identity on College Campuses
Title IX is a powerful tool for students; it provides a federal right to be free from discrimination in school based on sex, whether that discrimination is institutional or peer-on-peer. Under Title IX, students can recover monetary damages or require schools to implement specific policies to ameliorate and prevent discrimination. My paper discusses the protections under Title IX for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) college students. Courts have stubbornly refused to include sexual orientation under the category of “based on sex,” leading to disappointing outcomes for LGB students. Transgender students fit more neatly under the contours of the doctrine, but they have failed to utilize Title IX as a tool for change. I contend that Title IX could be a strong tool to force single-sex colleges to provide accommodations for transgender students. I conclude that Title IX is both underutilized by the transgender student community and under-inclusive (in its refusal to directly protect LGB students).
Nora Flum is a 3L at Harvard Law School and co-EIC of the Harvard Journal of Law & Gender. As an undergrad at Harvard College, Nora studied feminist literary theory as an English concentrator. In law school, she continues her gender studies, focusing recently on the theoretical controversies underlying the struggle for LGBT civil rights.
Political Moves: Dancing Boys on the Jesuit Stage in Paris
As a part of rhetorical and theatrical education, the 18th century Jesuit Ballet de Collège served to encourage personal development and to gain public recognition. The terpsichorean enthusiasm of the French included that they attached great importance to dance education in general. Dance was not only an educational instrument, but also a popular form of entertainment communicating ethical values and political world views. The annual ballet productions of the Parisian college Louis-le-Grand were so impressive that they compared favorably with those of the Paris Opera. Since only male students were admitted, gender issues were unavoidable: When it came to casting student dancers, there were also female parts to be performed. The paper is thus aimed to determine the productiveness of the students’ bodies as well as to give examples of the hidden political implications.
Hanna Walsdorf is a postdoc research fellow at the Collaborative Research Center 619 “ Ritual Dynamics” at the University of Heidelberg. She received her M.A. in Musicology from the University of Bonn in 2006 and her Ph.D. in Musicology and Dance Studies from the University of Salzburg in 2009.
16:45 – 18:00 Panel 3: Political Bodies
————————————— Nora Flum (abstract/bio) ———– —————————– ———— ——————- ——————-Hanna Walsdorf (abstract/bio) —————- ———————- ———————- —————-Monica De La Torre and Noralis Rodriguez (abstract/bio)
The Women of Color Collective: Creating Spaces for Women of Color in Academia
The film screening and panel discussion will explore the theme of political bodies and their locations within academic spaces, in particular how Women of Color utilize their politicized bodies—gendered, raced and sexualized bodies—to create spaces within academia. The Women of Color Collective (WOCC) emerged from collective dialogues between Women of Color graduate students from various disciplines at the University of Washington. This film documents the history and creation of the WOCC through interviews with members from the collective and faculty advisors. Women of Color continue to be oppressed political bodies within the confines of the academic institution. However, through the performance of their multiple subjectivities, Women of Color continue to resist and create spaces of dialogue and visibility. Thus, the Women of Color Collective and this film project employ performative strategies of visibility, resistance, and community-building required to survive and thrive within academic settings.
Monica De La Torre holds a Master’ s Degree in Chicana/o Studies from California State University, Northridge and is a first year PhD student in the Women Studies Department at the University of Washington. Her research interests involve the development of racial, ethnic, gender, and sexual identities and the expression of these identities through cultural productions.
Noralis Rodríguez-Coss holds a Master’s degree in Women Studies from Southern Connecticut State University and is a second year PhD student in the Women Studies Department at the University of Washington. Her interests include theories of the imagination and its relation to create strategies of political action by the feminist movements in Puerto Rico.
18:00 – 18:30 Erin Rachel Kaplan (abstract/bio)
Collateral Bodies is a play that investigates human rights violations that happen specifically to women around the world. While human rights violations are universally atrocious, they always seem to be just a little more so for women and for most part, we evaluate “rights’ though a western feminist context. This play seeks to subvert those assumptions asking what is a human right, why do we violate them, and investigates the role of sex and gender as a tool for empowerment, procreation, violence, defeat and commerce as it applies to different cultures around the world.The purpose of this performance is to open a discussion about the role that human rights (or the lack thereof) play in the lives of women in six specific cultures; American, Mexican, Indian, Arab, Somali and Eastern European, and in five specific instances that are representative of a larger and more universal disregard for the lives and bodies of women.
Hallie Brevetti- Nadiya
Andrea Gordillo- Esperanza
Erin Rachel Kaplan- Hope
Carol Parker- Rajeey
Alma Prelec- Omid
Anneline Smal- Asha
Erin R. Kaplan is an actor, teaching artist, workshop facilitator, playwright and activist living in Brooklyn New York. She holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan’s Residential College in Drama, English Literature and Political Science and an M.A. in Educational Theatre in Colleges and Communities, with a focus in Applied Theatre from New York University’s Steinhardt School.
18:30 – 18:45 Closing Remarks
18:45 Dinner (off-site, not included in registration fees)
Women in Academia and the Right to Speak
Shakespeare had a sister named Judith who wanted to be an artist, but wasn’t allowed to be. Many years ago, I saw a one-woman-show based on Virginia Wolff’ s work. Inspired by Virginia Wolff’ s “ A Room of One’s Own,” I am, too, struggling to find myself as an artist who is drawn in many different directions. Pursuing a career in educational theater and supportive of all students, and as a woman in an academic workplace, where even at this point women fit limited roles, I am inclined to redefine what it is to be a woman in the theater workplace, with a small child, who also has special needs. I have been interested in teaching drama to students in public education, but what I have found in my work is a world of negotiation with my creativity and learning to share space with my fellow artists.
Carrie Isaacman is a third year Graduate student in Educational Theater at City College of New York and a non-degree student at New York University. Currently, she is focusing on her thesis and developing lesson plans for student teaching. She is studying with Linklater Speech Master Louis Colaianni and working towards certification.
Queer Politics in the Feminist Classroom
In Fall 2010, Laura taught the first writing course for the Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies at UMass-Amherst. Many of the students, queerly-identified themselves, mentioned being excited to discuss queerness in a major that was still attempting to integrate queer studies. Unfortunately, the course was substantially disrupted by challenges to binary constructions of gender. Early on, Laura instituted a practice of using they/their and ze/hir rather than gendered pronouns to refer to the authors of all our texts. When many students found this difficult and wanted to give up the practice, following bell hooks’ (1994) insight that politics do not stop at the classroom door, Laura attempted to start a dialog in class. The focus of the class was displaced such that upon returning to discussing writing there remained noticeable tension. Through a narrative analysis of anonymous student reviews at the midterm and end of the course, Laura considers the implications of teaching queer gender and sexuality perspectives within a feminist classroom context.
Laura V. Heston is a doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Her academic interests include feminist and queer theory, commodifications of intimacy, homonormativity, and the sociology of gender. Her dissertation focuses on the impact of queer neoliberalism on queer kinship forms.
Flo Gherbesi is an undergraduate student at the University of Massachustetts-Amherst studying Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies. Flo is currently conducting an interview study of college-aged people with non-binary gender identities.
Import/Export: The Construction of Political Identities in the work of Valie Export
In 1968 Waltraud Hollinger renamed herself as Valie Export. Since then, the artist made a political statement that questions the ability of social transformation, the ambiguity of the concept of identity, and the need to be placed beyond the subjectivities that surrounds the construction of the individual. This resistance can be seen in Export’ s work from its introduction into the world of art as a body that speaks from the subversion of unquestionable elements, such as social identity and the specific issues that this entails, where we came from, and where we supposed to stay. However, she also uses these oppressive strategies to reject the legacy of patriarchal line, one of the great myths of Western culture. The body that Export sets up as political is the result of her artistic process, is her masterpiece.
Pilar Talavera was born Lima (1979), but lives and works in Barcelona. She holds a Bachelor Degree Audiovisual Communication (Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú) and Master Degree in Philosophy and Aesthetics (Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona). She is a performance and video artist and her work has been shown in Europe, America and Asia.
Abhinaya of an Educational Body: Leading an Academic Audience towards Emotive Exposure of Gender and Sexuality that Informs and Engages the Perverse Academic Body
In my latest performance I apply the Abhinaya of Indian dance as a compelling means by which to portray the perverse set of caricatures that make up my academic identity.How can mapping these caricatures onto a stylized and coded art of expression help us avoid the very stereotypes our nuanced academic work in Women, Gender and Sexuality combats? I hypothesize that by virtue of the fact that aspects of gender and sexuality already hide deep within layers of identity, no amount of writing about these perverse bodies will convince them to appear. By mapping their stories in performance, I present what these perverse characters might look and even sound like. I attempt to coax out aspects of my gender and sexuality to inhabit these daily masks of my academic identity for a moment on stage.
Aparna Das designs wearable art, writes poetry and experiments in dance. She has a marked tendency to engage issues of identity, body and the body politic. Beyond studio, she is currently working on a Masters thesis in studio art, Collapsing the Binary Distinctions between Body and Dress.
Intrinsic | In Flux
Color appearance in most models is defined by three independent parameters: hue, saturation, and brightness. These three parameters are readily apparent for most colorants under broadband radiation like sunlight, under which the human visual system evolved. However, under quasi-monochromatic sources of illumination, the eye is stimulated by a limited distribution of wavelengths, and variation in any of the three parameters becomes unpredictable. Just as quasi-monochromatic illumination can render the relationships between different colors erratic and unpredictable, so to, within the framework of essentialism, are non-binary, non-derivative identities rendered unimaginable. The installation immerses the viewer in a visual analogy that depicts the fallacies, which result from an essentialist framework, and simultaneously reveals in the viewer the Western tendency to name, define and classify sexualities and genders.
Rachel Taranta is an engineer and artist committed to the study of queer theory as well as color science. She has worked in optics and illumination in academia and industry since 2007. She received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Tufts University in Medford, MA in May, 2008.