Following lecture on feminist essentialism in the visual arts, I assign a responsive project requiring students to use their bodies as a vehicle for an idea. There are 7 categories they may choose from: the body as container, the body as landscape, the body as site of conflict (debate or legal issue), the body as the essence of gender, the body as spirit, role of age/history/time using the body, the body as a site of loss or remembrance.
A few rules I have–don’t show me your genital (or as they say, don’t show me their “junk”); be metaphorical/symbolic. Make it personal–“the personal is political.” It should be a cohesive series without be redundant. Oh yes, and I tell them they don’t know who they’ll be partnered with in 10 years. If the image would trash their partners possibility of public office, DON’T SHOOT IT! They don’t understand if i say don’t do this for themselves but they understand how it could bite a partner in the butt.
Here is a series finished two weeks early (cause they are actually excited about this project)–Artist: Ashton, Photographer: Chelsey.
identity essentials: body as a site of conflict by Jeremy C0