Author: Diane Ludin and Kelly Hashimoto --- Date: 4/21/97 --- Copyright: ThingReviews NYC

A History of Other Skin

Installation by Miguel Calderon

Andrea Rosen Gallery, NYC

April 1997

A discussion with Diane Ludin and Kelly Hashimoto

Miguel Calderon
(C-Print, Video Projection) 1997

KH: Ms. Diane, you seemed disturbed by the overall rendering of women's bodies in this show. One sees in the photos (7 Cibachromes) a number of voluptous nude women in various seductive poses.

DL: Actually, it was the same woman and this retro-sixties dude not so scantily addition to his layered psy-code-(de)lic posture was wearing sunglasses. It was the woman who had no clothes on, big breasts, a shaved pussy and a cowboy...

KH: Oh, I don't remember this so well, was her pussy really shaved? You're sure it wasn't specially trained?

DL: It looked like a porn-star complete with black cowboy hat and an electronic bull that wasn't moving. You could call it a certain type of training. He was staring at the viewer like, "hey, look what I got!"

KH: You also mentioned how typical it was that "he" (the supposed photographer) wasn't seen and hidden from the onlooker's view?

DL: No, actually, in the first photograph near the ceiling, "he" was looking down at the viewer. He was staring at a camera when the photo was taken.

KH: But, what's so disturbing about this rendering? Was it because it's so stereotyped, you expect more of the artist, knowing that "he" might be male? What if the artist was posturing or parodying such forms as we see in porn?

DL: I suppose so, I just think it's obnoxious.

KH: Because he should know better? Yes, how can these guys can get away with being so naive...

DL: ...about the importance of rendering sexual modes always played out in a different socio-cultural space. Assuming a woman reverses the roles (as a retro-dude), it wouldn't be as acceptable.

KH: It makes me rethink the trend to include art from Latin America and Asia (which is great), but, what a coincidence these shows are more "sexualized." For example, the Andre Serrano show, becomes more acceptable from that position. Nobuyoshi Araki, also gets in that white, pristine space with his women.

Nobuyoshi Araki
(Tokyo Nude 5) 1989

DL: That was also irritating. After looking at the show, I read the essays and saw the title :"Chaos and Delirious Mexican aesthetics..." Why are we still perpetuating simplistic stereotypes of different cultural identities? Why is a sexual/pornographic aesthetic connected to "Mexican."

(to be continued...)

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Kiyoshi Osawa -- 74052,

To whom it may concern, It seems this discussion suffers from a particularly one sided view. I cannot speak for Mr. Araki, since I didn't have the priviledge of seing his work, but it seems KH and DL have certain misconceptions with regards to artists that are not native to North-america. In the particular case of Miguel Calderon and his exhibition at Andrea Rosen Gallery, It is evident that these two gentle ladies have misinterpreted the work in question, as well as the "socio-cultural" implications of sexuality in foreign art. In mexico, it is the blond "gringa" that is regarded as a sexually crazed dick-thirsty female, not the native catholic overtly conservative indigenous woman (as in the case of Calderon's pictures).