Wednesday, November 18, 2009

"Unconsciousness Raising" article in The Brooklyn Rail

I contributed this article to the September 2009 Brooklyn Rail:

This summer it was possible to wade in the waters of pornography, erotic art, psychoanalysis, and feminism by visiting four almost concurrent art exhibitions: Peeps at CUNY’s James Gallery; John Currin: Works on Paper—A Fifteen Year Survey of Women at Andrea Rosen Gallery; Dorothy Iannone: Lioness at The New Museum; and The Female Gaze: Women Look at Women at Cheim & Read. Taken together, these shows trace a line of erotic imagery from the crass commercialism of pure pornography to the more refined commercialism of the art gallery, raising questions about how these forms relate to modern sexuality. Let’s be explicit: sex sells. It sells itself—always one click away—and it sells other commodities: beer, cars, tennis rackets, and, yes, art. Certainly, the aspiration for erotic imagery presented in an art setting is that it would stimulate reflections on desire, sexism and human rights. Working from the opposite direction, however, the exploitative forces at work in the making and selling of pornography cannot be completely sugarcoated in a fine art frame...(read full article here.)

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