Body Update: Bending

Images by Bill Durgin via DesignBoom

Virtual gender swap via DesignBoom. This is an interesting concept but I don’t see why it has to be specific to gender. Size? Race? Health? Also, gender is not necessarily a binary thing as it seems to be presented here.

Speaking of gender, Facebook has some interesting news.

People are making the internet a better place! (Don’t tell my student’s I endorsed something Wikipedia related! ūüėČ )

A friend shared Ren Hang’s photography with me a few weeks ago because of my work on Chang Jia’s¬†Standing Up Peeing.¬†

Faces and forms

Screen shot 2013-09-23 at 8.18.00 AM


The image above is from “The Average Faces of Women Around the World.”¬†I’m not sure about how scientific this project is but the idea is interesting. You can make your own average face here.

The Average Faces are reminiscent of this project.

Last week David Rosenberg wrote an article about plastic surgery recovery. “Stark Portraits From The Plastic Surgery Recovery Room” includes stunning and chilling photographs of women post surgery created by Ji Yeo. Here’s an interview with the artist.

This image by Zanele Muholi from 2009 is lovely and runs along the theme of this post. I found it alongside a call for papers on Visual Activism.

“Trickle, Splash, Shoot” published with Modern Art Asia

Modern Art Asia’s Issue 14,¬†Standing, Sitting, Crooked, features the extended version of my¬†piece¬†on Chang Jia’s photographs¬†Standing Up Peeing. The introduction to the issue states, “The issue opens with Kate Korroch‚Äôs analysis of Chang Jia‚Äôs Standing up Peeing series. Chang Jia, a South Korean photographer, documents the feelings of compromise, jubilation or rebellion women experience in the act of pissing, upright, under the camera‚Äôs gaze.”

Jin Xing + Gender Binary

Image via Art Space China

I just finished reading “Jin Xing: China’s Transsexual Star of Dance” a chapter from Celebrity in China¬†edited by Louise Edwards and Elaine Jeffreys.¬†The chapter reviews various writing and interviews about the dance star Jin Xing. In doing so, the authors Gloria Davies and M. E. Davies unfold an analysis of Jin Xing’s experience as a public figure who is a known transsexual in China.

I was struck by the conclusion of the chapter (190-191),”…her gender conformity has enabled the media to narrate her life the way she prefers it: namely, as the story of a talented dancer who¬†achieved¬†fame and success, who ‘cured’ her gender dysphoria to become the¬†woman¬†she had always felt herself to be. This is not a story that challenges the sexual binaries (whether of man/woman, masculine/feminine, straight/gay) that rule our lives. Rather, it is a story that confirms how powerfully those binaries continue to rule our lives.”

The conclusion highlights a cut and dry perspective of gender and sexuality adopted by Jin Xing. It is important to consider that lens in regards to transgender. That being said, to me gender and sexuality are much more messy than that.

Duane Michal’s Paradise Regained

Duane Michals, Paradise Regained, 1968


I was flipping through one of the textbooks I use to prepare Art History lectures and came across this set of prints. Among many things, I was immediately struck by the almost immediate nakedness of the woman compared to the man. I wonder what a 2013 version of this print would be?

Sunday Morning Coffee [Gender Benders Around the World]

via DesignBoom

GERMANY on POLAND: I’d like to go see¬†Twisted Entities at¬†Museum Morsbroich in Germany. E-flux says, “bodies are dissected, squeezed, deformed, duplicated and over-wound.” Sign me up!

UNITED KINGDOM:¬†Charming for the Revolution A Congress for Gender Talents and Wildness¬†a collaboration with the Tate Modern and Electra. E-flux says, “Charming for the Revolution¬†is an experimental congress of artists, activists and thinkers who seek to unpick underpinning, pressing questions of contemporary sexual and gender politics; exploring strategies that divert and destabilise normative gender and its¬†representations.”

NEPAL: There is now a third gender option for those procuring a citizenship certificate in Nepal. Huffington Post says, “activists hailed the decision, saying it was an achievement for gay and transgender rights.”

UNITED NATIONS: Did you know that there is a UN Gender Equality New Feed?

Sunday Morning Coffee [blind-ness, blind-ed, un-blind, blind-er]

Kara Walker will be at the AIC in February!

Today I’m visiting the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago’s exhibition¬†Color Bind: The MCA Collection in Black and White.¬†As the MCA’s website says, “With dozens of works in all media,¬†Color Bind¬†muses on the ways the English words ‚Äúblack‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúwhite‚ÄĚ evoke both simple formal notions and metaphors for race, politics, and historical movements. Set to coincide with the recent US presidential election, this exhibition calls attention to the ways seemingly neutral formal terms assume moral dimensions that, in turn, complicate and politicize the very works assumed to be neutral.”¬†

To prep for my trip to the museum I read part of Linda Alcoff’s¬†Visible Identities¬†and this quick discussion on Art Info with Christopher K. Ho and Roger White about the idea surrounding Ho’s exhibition “Privileged¬†White People”¬†at Forever & Today, Inc. in NYC.¬†¬†¬†

In light of the Oscar nomination list being released: NY Times, “Female Directors Gain Ground, Slowly.” Alison Klayman, the director of¬†Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, was featured in the piece. I can’t wait to hear what Coming off the Reels has to say about it.

Sunday Morning Coffee (Hot Lemon Water)

From Miru Kim’s The Pig That Therefor I Am


Miru Kim’s pigs got sick at Art Basel on Huffington Post.

Updates on Ai Weiwei–Art21,¬†a bit about his alleged tax evasion, the sunflower seeds are coming to New York!

Is the postal rendition of year of the dragon too “monstrous”?

Genderbread Person.  I originally found it here.

Do you know about whats going on in Bosnia?  This monument deserves its own post.

Take some time to learn a bit about North Korea.

This is a great new tumblr.  Nepotism? No, it is simply lovely.


Jenny Saville


Another one of my morning reads is Art Daily. ¬†This morning I read an article about Jenny Saville’s new exhibition at Gagosian Gallery. ¬†I think because of my recent post about Alex Meade I immediately wondered if Saville’s figures were painted bodies. ¬†Saville is known for painting and drawing bodies at dramatic angles on huge canvases.


I tried to find Saville’s website, instead I just found many gallery descriptions of her work. ¬†A short excerpt of something Saville said about her work jumped out to me. ¬†my work and research is about the body and moments of un-doing and mixing “conventional” gender. ¬†Of the painting above Saville says, “With the transvestite I was searching for a body that was between genders. I had explored that idea a little in Matrix. The idea of floating gender that is not fixed.” Click here to read the rest.

Self to Product

I’ve been following Hazel Dooney for a long time. ¬†She recently stopped blogging regularly so now her website, email updates and Facebook are how I keep track of her work. ¬†I received an update this morning and wanted to share a paragraph she wrote,

“I never expected to discover within myself an enthusiasm for portraiture. Over the past decade, I’ve been asked many times to undertake portrait commissions and I have always refused. Then, about a year or so ago, I recognised a compelling connection between a long-standing theme of my work ‚Äď the way advertising and entertainment media influence our identity ‚Äď and the traditional role of the ‘public’ portrait. I became intrigued by the notion that I could create a reductive but still identifiable ‘idealisation’ of a subject which, like fashion advertising or celebrity portrait photography, might transform their real-world ‘self’ into an emotive ‘product’. As large-scale, gleaming, sexy, and super-real as a good fashion or lifestyle advertisement should be, these portraits might also be unsettling and revelatory, even to their sitters.”

*The photo above is a screen shot I took from the artist’s website

I find the “self” to “product” aspect of her work and her statement very interesting. ¬†Those ideas of course bring me straight to gender representation and roles. ¬†What looks “male” or whats “looks” female? ¬†Of course that question can be seen as purely an inquiry about the actual naked human form but the influence of cultural products, advertising, and so forth can have an even greater impact.