Beyond Redemption: Gay Erotic Art; curated by CCST candidate Jean-François Renaud

Stephen Andrews, AA Bronson, Brice Canyon, Evergon, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Attila Richard Lukacs, Donald Moffett.

Opening Reception: October 28 at 8:00 pm. October 29 – November 27.

“The value of sexuality itself is to demean the seriousness of efforts to redeem it”.  –  Leo Bersani

Beyond Redemption: Gay Erotic Art will present unabashedly, unashamedly gay erotic art and beyond.  It addresses theoretical and political concerns relevant to gay erotic art today.  Well-known artists Stephen Andrews, AA Bronson, Brice Canyon, Evergon, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Attila Richard Lukacs and Donald Moffett will present work in a variety of media – drawing, collage, photography, sculpture, computer-based works as well as animation – with explicit homoerotic content.  The exhibition counters the fact that when confronted by artworks with sexual content we often seek to transcend their erotic appeal; style and formal concerns are invoked to “redeem” the images’ representation of sex.  Also, traditional art-historical scholarship has tended to ignore or to cloud the erotic content of myriad works involving sexuality.  Titian’s Venus of Urbino (1538) was created to arouse its patron, Phillipe II of Spain; the painting’s forthright eroticism is too often eclipsed by Art History.  Beyond Redemption: Gay Erotic Art will attempt to bring down the veil to reveal the sensuous base involved not only in homoerotic images but also in all artistic representations.  Images have the power to engage us sensuously – they all possess an erotic; the senses are the doors leading to our engagement with images at the most basic level.  Beyond Redemption: Gay Erotic Art will reaffirm this truism.

Beyond Redemption: Gay Erotic Art will address issues of homosexual desire set against an investigation of the formation of community.  The means by which sex is in itself political and how sex, following Leo Bersani, generates a politics, are key questions.  Many issues will arise from the exhibition: the fluid boundaries between art and pornography; the politics involved in gay sex as well as desire; how sex informs community; the nature of “artistic merit;” the ubiquity of censorship; the importance of freedom of expression; and the rich theoretical scholarship now available dealing with gay identity and culture.

This exhibition is curated by Jean-François Renaud, candidate to the Masters Degree in Critical and Curatorial Studies at the University of British Columbia.  The exhibition is supported by the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, the Alvin Balkind Fund for Student Curatorial Initiatives, and the Department of Art History, Visual Art, and Theory at the University of British Columbia.

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