Visual art professor’s new KC exhibition explores sense of physique, queer id

Benjamin Rosenthal, KU associate professor of visual art, at his solo exhibition, “And the band played on, and on on."

LAWRENCE – For Benjamin Rosenthal, “queering” the gallery for his new solo exhibition at Studios Inc. involves extra than a perception of the system through drawings of phallus-like shapes and incorporating Calvin Klein underwear bands. It’s in how he mixes up drawing, portray, sculpture and online video artwork sorts.

The College of Kansas affiliate professor of visible artwork has a new present titled “And the band performed on, and on on,” which operates through Sept. 24 in the entrance gallery of the Kansas Town, Missouri, nonprofit corporation devoted to helping midcareer artists. Rosenthal acquired a 3-12 months artist’s residency, which is made up of in excess of 2,000 square toes of studio and exhibit place. He obtained an supplemental yr in the studio extension plan. This present is a fruits of that operate.

“The title of the exhibit refers to the Titanic, the sinking ship on which the band held enjoying on, but also the movie from 1993 that addresses the AIDS pandemic, which is nonetheless happening,” Rosenthal reported. “And so, for me, this operate is incredibly significantly queer function. This do the job has refined and suggestive references to the queer expertise in image, product and language — and sometimes not so delicate.  But I think for people today in the LGBTQ group, the COVID-19 pandemic has a distinct partnership to us because of the difference involving the rapidity with which we press to struggle this pandemic, and the deficiency of electrical power from a governmental and a community standpoint in addressing the AIDS epidemic, which killed so many and carries on to do.

“That is really putting, and so I consider the exhibition is cheeky but also solemn, mainly because there is an factor of thinking about need but also dying and decline and the way all those items will intersect.”

Rosenthal favors a fleshy, nearly inside, pink tone in his sculptures, sometimes blackened as if by fireplace, other spots fading to awesome, ghostly white. Rosenthal claimed that a person of the items, “Portrait of a ghost[ed] impression, (mirrored, breathless(ed)),” matches his 6-foot-2-inch peak. Another even taller design was influenced by a specific, slouchy (and nearly ashamed) homosexual bathhouse or sexual intercourse-club pose, he explained. This is the kind of significant-scale get the job done that his Studios Inc. residency significantly enabled.

The demonstrate also consists of a single of Rosenthal’s colourful video clip is effective, a 90-2nd initial, animated loop projected from the ceiling onto the flooring of the gallery. Rosenthal claimed it functions as a changeover from 1 portion of the exhibition to one more, as very well as on its have.

“It’s virtually a healthcare level of perspective, observational, standing from above,” Rosenthal claimed. “It’s not as significantly like enjoyment like watching a Television on the wall. It truly is really much a part of the place and a portion of the trajectory involving the unique objects in the exhibition.”

All in all, Rosenthal said, the exhibition “is not just about sexual id, or gender identity, although that is extremely a lot a section of it. But it is also, from a theoretical and philosophical issue of watch, a way of recategorizing or rethinking or destabilizing what is normative, what is regular. So when I queer factors, when I imagine of myself as queer, or to queer the area of the gallery or queer an item or queer language — taking part in lively queering — I am hoping to destabilize what we assume that ought to be or what we think it is. So a human body is not always a stable class in the way in which we consider about bodies being normative, getting binary gendered, becoming nondisabled. There are so lots of different techniques in which we assume bodies, language and photos that reference our bodies, significantly, to be normative. But when we queer them, they grow to be in-between classes. They’re constantly evolving and altering and shifting based mostly on what is actually in proximity to them or close to them.

“I’m fascinated in queering these sorts of boundaries among overall body and object, among language and fragment, concerning drawing and portray … If I can open up up outside of the groups that I anticipate, and that are envisioned, I can make new possibilities or new futures or new prospective results.”

The is located at 1708 Campbell St., Kansas City, Missouri, and is open up 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday by Friday and noon-4 p.m. Saturdays. Masks are necessary.

Image: Ben Rosenthal has a solo exhibition at the in Kansas City, Missouri. Credit history: Rick Hellman, KU News Provider.

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