Thinking Critical/Looking Sexy: A Naked Male Body in Performance
Naked bodies in Western performance and installation art are frequently taken for granted by artists, or treated as a primarily aesthetic feature, whilst the broader cultural significations of unclothed bodies are often ignored in the conceptualization of work. Such treatment of naked bodies as isolated from popular cultural — often sexualized — readings of nakedness may to an extent have been effective in the past due to the framing of the work as ‘high art’. However, this approach has become problematic in recent times: the boundaries between popular culture and ‘high-art’ audiences have become increasingly blurred. This process has arguably been accelerated by the broad accessibility and intermingling of contents from different contexts on web platforms; work previously designated to the ‘high-art’ frame of the gallery is now accessed equally by a range of audiences with different — at times voyeuristic — interests and reading practices. I suggest that this shift should be taken into account in the conceptualization of performance artwork.
KeywordsPopular Culture Sphincter Muscle Sphincter Muscle Contraction Contextual Frame Naked Body
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