Join us for a conversation about sex and art. Is sex something we have? What does it mean to be a giver, a taker, a sharer? Can we store sex, hoard it? What is sex when it is boring, or unpleasurable? Why is sex a vector for such intense, powerful forms of shaming? We learn and unlearn sex. Sex is a feeling. Sex is material. So many moral judgments are informed by how sex is presented and represented. On its glisteningly bare surface, any marketplace—especially the art world's—is driven by titillation and provocation; but it is also regulated by forces of denial, inhibition, and repression.
Sometimes we are most who we are in sex; sometimes we are not. What does this mean? So much joy; so much suffering. In sex we encounter, emerge from, and are constituted by states of freedom and unfreedom.
Can we have sex? ICA LA’s Boxing Philosophical series invites feminist scholar Jennifer Doyle and artist Dorian Wood to consider these sensual and sensitive issues with philosopher Rossen Ventzislavov, who returns to the series as moderator/instigator.
This conversation is presented in conjunction with No Wrong Holes: Thirty Years of Nayland Blake, which will remain open until the discussion begins.
Rossen Ventzislavov is a philosopher and cultural critic focusing on aesthetics, architectural theory, literature, popular music, and performance art. His work has appeared in the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Deleuze Studies, Contemporary Aesthetics, and the Journal of Popular Music Studies. He is currently Professor of Philosophy at Woodbury University.
Jennifer Doyle is a queer theorist and performance studies scholar. She is the author of Hold It Against Me: Difficulty and Emotion in Contemporary Art, Campus Sex/Campus Security, and Sex Objects: Art and the Dialectics of Desire. She curated The Tip of Her Tongue for The Broad; Nao Bustamante: Soldadera for the Vincent Price Art Museum; and I Feel Different for Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE). She is Board of Directors member at Human Resources and a Professor of English at UC Riverside.
Artist Dorian Wood seeks to glorify both the sanctity and irreverence of intimacy. They revel in challenging the artist-audience separation, using subject matter informed by their own position in society as a non-binary person of color and an autodidact. Their work has been showcased in concert halls and performance spaces around the world, including at such institutions as The Broad (Los Angeles), REDCAT (Los Angeles), The Stone (NYC), MASS Gallery (Austin), Kulturhuset (Stockholm), Teatro de La Ciudad (Mexico City) and the City Hall of Madrid.
Boxing Philosophical: Can We Have Sex? is presented in conjunction with No Wrong Holes: Thirty Years of Nayland Blake, on view from September 29, 2019 to January 26, 2020, at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
The exhibition and related programs are made possible thanks to lead support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Generous support is provided by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Marieluise Hessel, Linda Janger, Matthew Marks Gallery, and Friends of Nayland Blake.
ICA LA is supported by its Curator’s Council, Fieldwork, and 1717 Collective.