What makes art controversial? Who decides what is controversial in the art world? Sometimes the simple presence of the female body, or the gender of the artist’s body, signifies a work as “inappropriate” or aesthetically compartmentalized within a community. By discussing the artwork and curatorial efforts of female artists and activists, this presentation will explore the significance, consequence, and language of social spaces that accompany art making and art exhibitions in the predominantly Christian conservative community of Lubbock, Texas.
We will discuss the waves of controversy we have encountered, diffused, or created, within our academic and artistic practices. We will contemplate the queer representations of women’s bodies for social and political gain in our community and will share our collaborative attempts to push the envelope of stereotypical definitions and visualizations of the female body through our art, our organizing activisms.
While we intend to empower through our feminist artworks, we also recognize how we are often influenced by a culture that exploits the female body and the beauty ideal, leaving us to negotiate our own chauvinistic participation in the controversy of the female body.