Sexuality in the Field of Encounter: The aesthetic topographies of eros

Session Convenor

Edward Bacal, University of Toronto

Session Abstract

The experience of sexuality – including erotic sensation, desire, fantasy, and companionship – is traditionally understood as something interior. Conventional knowledge locates sexuality inside the subject’s phenomenological horizon, the body’s physical limits, the ego’s psyche, and the privacy of domestic architectures; however, the history of aesthetic practice is full of examples that dis-locate sexuality, exposing it as a property of the exterior world. Whether in the pictorial space of Floating World prints or the ramp of Seedbed, numerous artworks have dis-located the experience of sexuality, challenging the borders that delimit the sexual body from the world at large. By complicating that body’s relation to its environment, such works illustrate an aesthetics of sexuality that takes place in a decidedly expanded field. Additionally, by demonstrating how sexuality mediates the intersection of bodies, sensations, and spaces, these works envision alternative possibilities of social, political, and ethical encounter.

This session discusses how artists have reimagined the ways sexuality is embodied in space, exploring the historical and theoretical implications of those interventions. It considers how architectures, cityscapes, and natural topographies affect the performance and representation of sexuality. And it considers how sexuality contributes to the production and use of space in aesthetically relevant ways. Scholars working in any temporal, regional, and disciplinary field are invited to submit papers that address these concerns, with the aim of generating new discussions across discourses and practices.

To offer a paper
Please email your paper proposal direct to the session convenor, details above.

Provide a title and abstract (250 words maximum) for a 25-minute paper (unless otherwise specified), your name and institutional affiliation (if any).

Please make sure the title is concise and reflects the contents of the paper because it will appear online, in social media and in the printed programme.

You should receive an acknowledgement of receipt of your submission within two weeks from the session convenor.

Deadline for submissions: Monday 5 November 2018

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