Jennifer Doyle introduces her new work Between Friends that builds on her latest publication Sex Objects - Art and the Dialectics of Desire (University of Minnesota Press, 2006) focusing particularly on her work on Andy Warhol’s film "Blue Movie" (1970). Official clips of this rarely seen film, kindly provided by the Andy Warhol Museum, will be screened during the lecture.
Jennifer Doyle is associate professor of English at the University of California, Riverside. She is coeditor, with Jonathan Flatley and José Esteban Munoz, of Pop Out: Queer Warhol.
Sex Objects - Art and the Dialectics of Desire
"A beautiful and provocative book. Doyle convincingly argues that visual culture is inherently sexed and that the study of images tells us something crucial about how we inhabit the world." (Amelia Jones, author of Body Art/Performing the Subject)
"Doyle demonstrates a sure understanding of the latest methodology and critical possibilities of queer theory." (Midwest Book Review)
The declaration that a work of art is "about sex" is often announced to the public as a scandal after which there is nothing else to say about the work or the artist-controversy concludes a conversation when instead it should begin a new one.
Moving beyond debates about pornography and censorship, Jennifer Doyle shows us that sex in art is as diverse as sex in everyday life: exciting, emotional, traumatic, funny, even profoundly boring. Deftly interweaving anecdotal and personal writing with critical, feminist, and queer theory, she reimagines the relationship between sex and art in order to better understand how the two meet-and why it matters.
Sex Objects examines the reception and frequent misunderstanding of highly sexualized images, words, and performances of the past and present. In chapters on the "boring parts" of Moby-Dick, the scandals that dogged the painter Thomas Eakins, the role of women in Andy Warhol’s Factory films, "bad sex" and Tracey Emin’s crudely evocative line drawings, and L.A. artist Vaginal Davis’s parodies of Vanessa Beecroft’s performances, Sex Objects challenges simplistic readings of sexualized art and instead investigates what such works can tell us about the nature of desire.
In Sex Objects, Doyle offers a creative and original exploration of how and where art and sex connect, arguing that to proclaim a piece of art "about sex" reveals surprisingly little about the work, the artist, or the spectator. Deftly interweaving anecdotal and personal writing with critical, feminist, and queer theory, she reimagines the relationship between sex and art in order to better understand how the two meet-and why it matters.