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WHAT: An illustrated lecture with “cult author and cultural critic” Mark Dery (The “cult author” bit is my host’s artful sobriquet, not mine!)

WHEN: This Friday, June 18th.

TIME: 8:00 PM.

ADMISSION: $7

LOCATION: Presented by Morbid Anatomy, at the Proteus Gowanus gallery Observatory at 543 Union Street (the large red brick building).

DIRECTIONS: SEE BELOW, AT END OF POST.

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TITLE, SUBJECT: The Anatomical Unconscious: X-Ray Specs, Visible Women, and the Eros of the Unseen.

What do 18th-century wax “anatomical Venuses” doing a striptease in which they expose their internal organs; cutaway views of the imaginary anatomy of Loony Tunes characters; the X-Ray Specs and Visible Woman toys familiar to boomers; and artist Wim Delvoye’s X-rated X-rays of people performing sex acts have in common?

Mark Dery makes these and other provocative connections in his lecture “The Anatomical Unconscious: X-Ray Specs, Visible Women, and the Eros of the Unseen,” a cultural critique of the eroticizing of the scientific gaze. In his hour-long lecture/slideshow, Dery will touch on the pornographic fantasies that swirled around the X-ray from its inception; adolescent dreams, fueled by comic-book ads for X-Ray Specs, of the potential uses for Superman’s X-ray vision; current fears of the potential for abusive use of airport scanners that penetrate clothing; and the artist Wim Delvoye’s series of pornographic X-rays.

He’ll theorize the eros of anatomy revealed, with digressions into the weird cartoon subgenre of imaginary anatomies (of everything from Star Wars At-Ats to Loony Tunes characters) and the premonitions of X-rated X-rays inherent in the baroque medical mannequins on display at the Museum La Specola in Florence, Italy—wax Venuses whose uncanny seductions Dery reads as examples of the abject aesthetic he calls the Pathological Sublime.

Along the way, Dery will explore the idea of X-ray as metaphor for our socially networked Age of Oversharing, when the polarities of public and private are reversing themselves, and the Death of Shame prepares the way for End of Privacy and the Transparent Self, whose innermost thoughts (and bodily functions) must be Tweeted, Facebooked, and blogged.

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DIRECTIONS: OBSERVATORY is located at 543 Union Street at Nevins St., in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn. The entrance is currently through Proteus Gowanus gallery, in the alley off Nevins St.

R or M train to Union Street in Brooklyn:

Walk two long blocks on Union (towards the Gowanus Canal) to Nevins Street. 543 Union Street is the large red brick building on right. Go right on Nevins and left down alley through large black gates. Proteus Gowanus is the second door on the left.

F or G train to Carroll Street:

Walk one block to Union. Turn right, walk two long blocks on Union towards the Gowanus Canal, cross the bridge, take left on Nevins, go down the alley to Proteus Gowanus, the second door on the left.

MORE HERE.

One Comment

    • Mammt

    • 10 years ago

    there is an error… hello kitty hasn’t a brain

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