Exhibition draws attention to gender stereotypes
STATESBORO, Ga.—Using his own experiences as inspiration for his artwork, Master of Fine Arts candidate Kyle Hooten shines a light on the social constructs surrounding gender in his exhibition “Deconstructing Abject Complacency of Ascribed Gender” which will be on view March 8-23 at the Center for Art & Theatre’s Contemporary Gallery on the Statesboro Campus. A reception will begin at 5 p.m. on March 23.
By using materials commonly considered explicitly masculine or feminine—such as baseball cards and glitter—Hooten examines the ways society associates gender with objects to reinforce stereotypes based on a person’s sex assigned at birth. Hooten draws from his personal experiences as a transgender man to choose materials that best illustrate the concept of breaking away from society’s expectations and standards.
“‘Deconstructing Abject Complacency of Ascribed Gender’ is really meant to show that gender is whatever we make it out to be and that we only believe it to be true because that’s what someone told us to think,” said Masters of Fine Arts candidate Kyle Hooten. “I want this show to break barriers in as many ways as possible.”
Although culture today focuses primarily on physical changes for transgender people, Hooten’s artwork goes deeper into the emotional and social changes people encounter. Through his work, Hooten aims to recreate a feeling of emotional detachment that mirrors his own feelings of detachment from the world, and to provoke viewers to rethink and revise their opinions of gender being placed into two categories of female and male.
“Kyle’s work is challenging on multiple levels,” notes BFSDoArt Gallery Director Jason Hoelscher. “On the one hand, his focus on the ways gender is defined and understood at both the personal and societal levels poses deep questions about how ideas of selfhood and normativity are defined, reinforced and rendered malleable. At an artistic level, Kyle’s work poses interesting questions about how artistic expression operates when the subject being expressed is not one of essence, but of transformation and change.”
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