Carrie Patterson, Chair
Associate Professor of Art
Phone: (240) 895-4252
Office Staff: (240) 895-4225
Alumni Where are they now?
Matthew Fishel (studio art, 2001) completed an MFA at Maryland Institute College of Art in 2010. Originally interested in painting, Matthew has expanded his practice to include animation, video, installation, and digital imaging. He is a frequent contributor to RedStarKGB, an ongoing collaboration of filmmakers in Baltimore. His own film, "A Short Film Regarding Possibilities", was selected by the Maryland Film Festival in 2006. See his work at http://www.matthewfishel.com
Abstract:The truth of sex, Michel Foucault explains, was produced in Western society through Confession, which creates a relationship of power and judgment. He suggests that there is another means of producing the truth about sex which has been utilized in many cultures: erotic art. In erotic art, he explains, "truth is drawn from pleasure itself, understood as a practice and accumulated as experience; pleasure is not considered in relation to an absolute law of the permitted and the forbidden, nor by reference to a criterion of utility, but first and foremost in relation to itself; it is experienced as pleasure, evaluated in terms of intensity, its specific quality, its duration, its reverberations in the body and the soul."
Japanese culture, despite its reputation of homogeneity and repression, has a rich history of erotic art. For hundreds of years printmakers have created wonderfully explicit shunga, which often portrays acts of sex, masturbation, erotic involvement of humans and animals, rape, and orgiastic gatherings, all in spectacular detail. In the 1960s the Obsessional Art movement generated artworks and performances which dealt with the taboos of society, sex, death and madness.
The censored society of contemporary Japan currently produces some of the most thrillingly sensual, perverse and erotic film in the world. Erotic film can unapologetically illustrate a conception of sexual identity which is at odds with the norm and thereby form a space which demands question and speculation. Film develops a space which the viewer can momentarily enter and experience bodily. Through sexual relationships that defy the norm, experimental Japanese erotic cinema often suggests that gender, physiological sex, sexuality and power are not necessarily connected. Through their separation, normalized sexual identity can be deconstructed.