Technologies of Gender
Minority sexualities and their critical representations
The nineties represented a boom for critical discourses on the construction of gender, sexuality and race. Teresa de Lauretis and Donna Haraway, employing the Foucauldian notion of biopower, redefine cinematographic, artistic, and scientific representation within the terms of the technologies of gender. Haraway uses the metaphor of the cyborg—a term coined by Mandred Clynes in 1960 to describe a laboratory rat implanted with a cybernetic control system—to demonstrate that our bodies and our gender, racial and sexual identities are the products of complex biopolitical technologies. As postmodern creatures we are techno-live cultural systems. The transition from a postfordist society, as described by Antonio Negri and Paolo Virno, marks a shift from a sexo-organic industrial society to an information system of prosthetic and polymorphous gender. The "informatics of domination" is how Haraway describes the current position of sexual and cultural minorities as they face the increasing globalization of the systems of production and reproduction of gender, sex and race. From this point of view, pornography—far from being a marginal representation—appears as one of the main industries within global biopolitics' production and normalization of the body.
In different way, queer theory—both an affiliation and rupture with the feminist tradition—affirmed a performative turn in the interpretation of identity. Various authors, such as Judith Butler and Eve Sedgwick, theorized gender within the terms of performance, reacting against both the essentialist feminist affirmation of a natural or prediscursive truth to sexual difference and the normative imposition of certain forms of masculinity and femininity. Likewise, porn star Annie Sprinkle took the critical notion of performance to its limit, applying it to the politics of representation as it relates to sexuality, pornography and sexual work. Not only is gender performative but sexuality can also be analyzed in theatrical and choreographic terms thereby dissolving the last remnants of sex's naturalism.
How to rethink feminism in the postfordist era? What might be considered a viable political action for our postorganic time? What are the biopolitics of postmodern bodies? This workshop explores both critical discourses—the performative and the biopolitical—as possible sites for intervention, resistance and action that are theoretical as well as political in relation to the representation of gender and sexuality. The workshop seeks to restore visual and discursive agency, to restore the power of self representation to the objects of traditional pornographic discourse, thereby supporting the epistemological reversal begun by Annie Sprinkle in the eighties: those that have been the objects of pornographic representation until now—women, porno actors and actresses, gay and lesbian, transvestites, abnormals, perverts, etc.—now emerge as the subjects of representation.
With its bimonthly programming, the workshop will extend over the course of 2004 parallel to a continuing debate by the Postporn Marathon, which first took place at MACBA last June. The workshop aims to generate a space that combines public acts with individual workshop sessions—and includes lectures, the analysis of visual documents, textual and performative practices—in order to facilitate critical reflection on gender, pornography, new postpornographic trends and sexuality's diverse aesthetics and politics of representation. The objective is to create a space of visibility and legibility for minority discourses (in the Deleuzian sense) on gender and identity.
With the collaboration of: Cecilia Barriga, María José Belbel, Miriam Cameros, David Córdoba, Laura Cortés, Julio Díaz, Jordi Jordella, Del Lagrace Volcano, Mireia Marín, Carolina Meloni, Eduardo Nabal, Desirée Rodrigo, Javier Sáez, Jaume Sala, Lara Sterling, Helena Torres, Paco Vidarte, among others.
Directed by Beatriz Preciado, lecturer in the History and Theory of the Body and in Contemporary Theory on Gender at the University of Saint-Denis, Paris.
The workshop's activities will be concentrated during specific weeks throughout the course of the year. The sessions – those that are public just as much as those that are working seminars – will be scheduled in the afternoon.
Gender and representation in the visual culture of the seventies. The impact of feminism and gender studies in the production and analysis of visual culture.
March 30 – April 3
Queer-core anti-aesthetics .
Thursday April 1, 2004 at 7:00 pm
Obscene bodies and spectacular specimens
Lecture-performance by Del Lagrace Volcano
Convent dels Àngels
Free admission. Prohibited to those under the age of 18.Limited seating. Simultaneous translation service available.
Queer studies. Critiquing disciplines from the minorities' point of view.
In collaboration with the third meeting of the seminar "Introduction to Queer Theory" by the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia.
Saturday, May 15. Public session.
6 pm. Performance: "How to make the anthropological gaze queer". Performance by Sociedad Rosa. Jordi Jordella.
6:30 pm. Film forum: "Baise-moi", Virginie Depentes, Coralie Trinh Thi.
Presentation and analysis by Carolina Meloni.
Saturday, October 23 at 7:30pm. Public session
Porno Film Forum
Behind the Green Door by Jim and Artie Mitchell, 1972.
With the participation of Javier Codesal
Pornography, post-pornography and public sex
Presentation of the sexual prostheses line
Post-porno Shortfilms Selection from the workshop
With Yolanda Vera Ferrera and Elena González Polledo
With Itziar Ziga; grup PosOp, Alex, Ignasi, etc.
tlf. (+34)93 412 08 10 (ext. 382)
servcult [at] macba [dot] cat