December 12th 2019, Emory Visual Art Gallery

On December 12th 2019, the students of my Love-Sex-Desire: The Subversive Power of Art class and me curated the exhibit All Tied Up: Unraveling Love, Sex and Desire. All 13 students showcased the art and critical artist statements they worked on through the Fall 2019 semester. The Exhibit was made possible by a Mellon Interventions Project Public Scholarship Teaching Fellowship, as well as an Emory Center for Faculty Development and Excellence mini grant.

Exhibit Statement

“For within living structures, defined by profit, by linear power, by institutional dehumanization, our feelings were not
meant to survive.”
-Audre Lorde, Poetry is not a Luxury (1985)

To live is to desire; to live in society is to be taught desire: how to do love, how to do sex – in other words, how to conduct our intimacies. But such societal scripts for love, sex and desire often restrict behavior rather than create authentic lives of joy.

All Tied Up: Unraveling Love, Sex, Desire delves into prevalent notions that enforce certain ways of intimacy while rejecting others. The exhibition examines socially constructed binaries such as: love/sex, Madonna/ whore, masculine/feminine, healthy/perverse, innocent/erotic, foreplay/intercourse. Drawing on theorists such as Audre Lorde, Gloria Anzaldúa, and José Muńoz, we use varied art forms to explore and mock oppressive sexual scripts. In turn, we re-envision more fluid and alive forms of intimacy.

As you tour this exhibition, consider: how do love, sex, and desire manifest in your life – while making love, while dancing, while brushing your teeth? Who do conventional norms of intimacy serve and subordinate? What might our intimacies look like if we authentically unravel our desires?

Vibe Video of All Tied Up

Video courtesy of Haley Grissett

Impressions of my students art

Images courtesy of Haley Grissett and Nyle Rado

In order of appearance:

  • Wang Linda with Look at me, DO me (Photography)
  • Ballanty Nenailah with Untitled (Photography)
  • Marin Barbara with Honey, I am Home (Photography)
  • Kelley Kedhejah with Untitled (Photography)
  • Yong San with Erotic Continents (Performance Art)
  • Hubner Hayden with Slow Growth (Video Art and Contemporary Dance)
  • Silver Rachel with Untitled (Drawing)
  • Muyoyo Faith with Untitled (Video Art and Contemporary Dance)
  • Grissett Haley with Our Language (Video Art)
  • Fangyuan Tan with Contra-Deception (Collage, Poetry and Mixed Media)
  • Garcia Christian with Conventional Mediums, Unconventional Meanings (Collage and Mixed Media)
  • Mayfield Katy with Xanex for Situationships (Video Art)
  • Shaeveld Ava with Morning Snakes, Morning Shakes (Video Art)
  • Torres Louis with Untitled (Video Art and Painting)