The Art of Sex Education: Contemporary Aesthetics As Idiosyncratic Interventions in Hegemonic Sexual Discourses
How do you un_learn how to have sex? Between the necessity of sex education and the offers of lifelong sexual didactics such as workshops and advice literature, various implicit mediations of sexual knowledge and skills can be discerned, which manifest themselves in works of art, pornography, or pop culture. This project focuses on the specific aesthetic and epistemic procedures of sexual education media. It asks how resistant, inventive, and unheard-of sexual conceptions articulate themselves in the interstices of conventional discourses, which tend to rely on neoliberal imperatives of mastery and competence. The project’s special interest lies in concepts of sexual understandings that emphasize not only pathos, non-sovereignty, and vulnerability, but also weird, pleasurable surpluses and ethical relationships to others. The “most natural thing in the world” is reconstructed as a pre-figured, designed, and phantasmatically charged sphere, which turns out to be a hub of highly political questions that render sensual relations criticizable.
Beate Absalon studied Education and Cultural Theory and History at HumboldtUniversity of Berlin and Contemporary Art Theory at the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths - University of London. After a DAAD-funded research stay in Tokyo, she completed her M.A. with a redefinition of the relationship between pathos and practice through contemporary bondage practices. At the Humboldt University she has taught courses on (audio-)visual representations of childbirth, experimental approaches to academic writing, and the cultural history of 'defacing,' from which she developed interdisciplinary symposia and the discussion series 'face talks' at the Schaubude Berlin. She is pursuing her doctorate at the University of Art and Design Linz and is affiliated with the research group ‘Cultural Theory and Cultural History and Theory of Aesthetics' at the HU. Her essayistic reflections on forms of creative sexuality appear on www.luhmendarc.blog.
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