Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz at Illingworth Kerr Gallery | 06/01/11 – 22/01/11

Hosted by the University of Calgary and the Alberta College of Art + Design

PopSex! Exhibition
January 6 – 22, 2011
Illingworth Kerr Gallery | ACAD

Exhibition Opening with performance by Mr. and Mrs. Keith Murray and Anthea Black
January 6, 2011 | 6:00 PM
Illingworth Kerr Gallery | ACAD
(The performance will be repeated on January 8, 2011 at 6:00 PM)

Artist Discussion
January 11, 2011 | 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Illingworth Kerr Gallery | ACAD
Exploring sex and sexuality in the public sphere through art and academia – PopSex!

Using the Institute for Sexual Science (1919-1933) in Berlin as its starting point for discussion, PopSex! – an exhibition, academic conference and film series being launched in January 2011 – brings together artists, scholars, and students to examine the history of sexuality and its significance for pop culture in the past and today.

Magnus Hirschfeld’s Institute for Sexual Science was founded in Berlin in 1919 as a place of research, political advocacy, counseling, and public education. It was inspired by the world’s first gay rights organizations and was closely allied with other groups fighting for sexual reform and women’s rights. In 1933, the Nazis reacted with visceral hatred against Hirschfeld’s efforts and against the new visibility of sexual minorities. They destroyed the institute and its library in the infamous book burnings of that year, and they co-opted the principles of sexual science to construct fantasies of racial and biological purity.

Then as today sex pervades the public sphere, it is an object of scientific fascination, and drives popular culture. Sex sells. It fosters personal experimentation, transgresses boundaries, and provokes censorship, violence, outrage and shame. This exhibition aims to open a public dialogue on the significance of sex and sexuality in the public sphere and popular culture.