Leading Contemporary Artists Participate in Gender and Performance Events at the RCA

9 February 2010: Contemporary artists Franko B, Oreet Ashery, Ralf Obergfell, Tony Hornecker and Ana Laura López de la Torre will be participating and exhibiting their work in a week long exploration of Gender and Performance at the Royal College of Art.

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I'm Thinking of You, Franko B

Organised by the RCA Students’ Union, the exhibition, performances and symposium will question how gender, sex, embodiment and the real are constructed, participated in and performed.&nbsp_place_holder; The events are part of DiverseRCA, a programme of public events that looks at strands of human rights including race, gender, religious belief, sexual orientation, disability and age in relation to art and design. The aim is to explore how art and design can provide a unique understanding of each strand of human rights that is beyond existing policy or sociological knowledge.

The exhibition features video, sculptural, photographic and performance works. Oreet Ashery presents Dancing with Men, a video where she participates, as a man, in a male-only religious festival. Ana Laura López de la Torre’s work, Everything is Not All Right, invites viewers to take the work, a flag, on a protest walk.

Ralf Obergfell’s series of photographs portray the elaborate creatures that frequent the nocturnal London club scene.&nbsp_place_holder; Together with Tony Hornecker’s installation of ‘peep booths’ constructed out of old doors and found materials, they form the work Beautiful Freaks. Amid a live soundtrack provided by Per QX, performers will occupy the booths on Wednesday 24 February from 3pm. Viewers are invited to take on the role of the voyeur, peeping through cracks, small openings and keyholes to see a range of characters.

Also on 24 February, the Gender & Performance Symposium opens with Franko B’s sculpture of a swing, I’m Thinking Of You. A succession of naked volunteers will participate in the work accompanied by specially composed music.

Franko B and Oreet Ashery will talk about their work, and then join a panel discussion with Ron Athey (performance artist, Pia Arber (performer), Stephen Wood (poet and stay-at-home dad) and chaired by Dr Claire Pajaczkowska, Senior Research Tutor at the RCA.

The Symposium addresses the relationship between performance art and our understanding of gender. While sociological and philosophical critiques of gender are well established, the symposium opens up the question of how gender can be informed by art or art practice, in particular, the practice of performance.

Exhibition open from 22–25 February, 11am to 5.30pm daily

24 February: Gender & Performance Symposium, 2pm–8.30pm
Welcome and curators’ tour: 2pm
Franko B’s installation begins from 2pm
Performances of work by Tony Hornecker from 3pm
Performed Readings at 3pm
Masculinity and Performance talk at 4pm
Artists’ presentations, 6pm-7pm
Panel discussion, 7pm-8.30pm

For further information visit the RCA SU website here