SOMArts Cultural Center: Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze

SOMArts Cultural Center, San Francisco presents

Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze, November 4–30, 2011
Opening Reception with Artwork Dedication & Performance
Friday, Nov 4 2011, 6–9 pm. Free Admission.

Women Artists Look at Men and Masculinity - Art Exhibition Re-envisions Gender, Society and The Politics of Exposure

San Francisco, CA, USA – Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze is an exhibition that re-envisions gender, society and the politics of exposure.With a gallery filledwithmen stripped naked, this body of work exposes women’s cheeky, provocative and sometimes shocking commentaries on the opposite sex. The exhibition’s contemporary scope encompasses all the ways that women view Man-as-Object, reversing the traditional view of male artists objectifying women. Its diverse perspectives onmasculinity come fromstraight, transsexual, transgender, lesbian and multi-cultural artists through a spectrum of media, from paintings to sculpture, installations to performance, video to social media. The show’s extensive collection of male adoration, male impersonation and male appendages may make the viewer squirma little. But that is precisely the point. The more than 100 women artists in the exhibition unapologetically reveal how they really see men. Through this public display at SOMArts Cultural Center, the show’s organizers aimto equalize the gaze between the sexes.

San Francisco State University Assistant Professor Tanya Augsburg selected 117 pieces from 900 submissions for presentation in the SOMArts Cultural Center gallery on behalf of Karen Gutfreund and Priscilla Otani, recipients of the 2011 SOMArts Cultural Center Curatorial Residency Award. The show will travel in part to the Kinsey Institute Gallery in April 2012. Showing at SOMArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan Street, San
Francisco, CA., 11/4 – 11/30/11, Tues-Fri 12-7 p.m.; Sat 12-5 p.m.

Featured Artists
This big group exhibition feature among feminist artists Juana Alicia, Nancy Buchanan, Guerrilla Girls On Tour!, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Jill O’Bryan, ORLAN, Carolee Schneemann, Sylvia Sleigh, May Wilson and Melissa P. Wolf and self identified queer artists Annie Sprinkle and Elizabeth Stephens. Other queer artists are Tania Hammidi, Tristan Crane, Molly Marie Nuzzo and Chanel Matsunami Govreau. The full list of exhibiting artists is available at the official exhibition website.

Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze is accompanied by a full color catalog by Tanya Augsburg and Karen Gutfreund, with essays from Lynn Hershman Leeson, Annie Sprinkle and others. Curator Tanya Augsburg wrote in the catalogue introduction about Elisabeth Stephens work at the exhibition:

“Alternatively, Elizabeth Stephens addresses penis size mythologies from a lesbian-turned-ecosexual perspective with her bronze sculpture, Ron Jeremy’s BVDs (2008). Porn star Ron Jeremy is legendary for the size of his cock; however, Stephens regards the penis as just “one erotic object in a field of visual objects.” In an email Stephens writes: “I find more erotic, for instance female genitalia, trees, dirt, water, mountains—and in terms of this competition it doesn’t really stand up as the most powerful object of desire.”(…) Stephens gazes beyond Jeremy’s famous anatomy to focus on the abject qualities of his dirty underwear. Unimpressed by either the length or girth of a penis, Stephens provides a humorous reality check to those willing to ignore a man’s unsightly appearance and demeanor just because he has a big you-know-what.

Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze is sponsored by Women’s Caucus for Art and made possible through grants and assistance from SOMArts Cultural Center, the San Francisco Arts Commission and the San Francisco Foundation.

Related Links
Official Exhibition Website of Man as Object: Reversing the Gaze