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GWU art administrator curates ‘Queer[ing] Pleasure’ LGBT exhibit

Featuring ‘gilded gold casts of pelvises’

An administrator from George Washington University has curated an exhibit titled “Queer[ing] Pleasure,” an LGBT-centric show that explores “new and existing networks between pleasure, erotics, and queerness.”

The exhibit, curated by Corcoran School of the Arts program administrator Andy Johnson for the District of Columbia Arts Center, “illustrates the radical queer potential of pleasure,” according to the exhibit’s description.

The art show purports to challenge “the too-often limited, white, hetero-centric logic of the erotic” and “investigates the ways in which pleasure is an ‘unexpressed and unrecognized’ feeling.”

Among the exhibits is a “cut out” made from a “gay pornographic magazine.” As well, the student newspaper The GW Hatchet reports on an art piece made of “flowing gowns from Nigeria…arranged in columns below rose petals and gilded gold casts of pelvises.”

From The Hatchet:

Even when you see an exposed private part in the art, it hardly registers as more than decoration to the larger emotions and messages at hand, Johnson said.

“Pleasure can be a space in which we can begin to unpack the layers that have been put on of how the body has to function in society or is required to in order to be deemed legitimate or valuable,” Johnson said.

[Jade] Yumang, an artist who just began his tenure at the School of Art Institute of Chicago, has three other artworks featured [in addition to the gay porn cutout], which at first look indecipherable. Glancing at the chosen three abstract wall sculptures from his 2013 collection, you would never guess the cotton rags were scanned photos from a “well-loved” erotic magazine called “My-Oh-My” that he said was embroiled in legal trouble for obscenity in the 1970s.

“What I found fascinating was if you look through the magazine, it’s two people that are slowly undressing, every page,” Yumang said. “It’s nothing hardcore at all. They’re just touching, loving, embracing, undressing, caressing and kissing. That was, I guess, considered obscene.”

Looking to shape an exhibit that was “overtly queer,” Johnson told The Hatchet: “I don’t focus on straight white men – you won’t find them in any of my work that I do.”

Read The Hatchet‘s report here.

MORE: University art museum to host camp for transgender children

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