March 11, 2008

Fear Of Sex Is Overrated

Kinsey Institute Communications Director Jennifer Bass reflects on Expressive Bodies, a Kinsey art show, and the community response.

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Working on sex at The Kinsey Institute in Indiana comes with its challenges.

Though Alfred Kinsey’s books were published a half century ago and the Institute itself has survived and grown at Indiana University since 1947, stepping outside of the protected walls can make us vulnerable.

Though I shouldn’t have been surprised, Ann Fritz, Director of the North Gallery of Contemporary Art on the IU Northwest campus in Gary, sent an email about the Expressive Bodies photography show, currently on loan there:

It’s amazing I have not had one negative response. The English, Sociology, Psych, and SPEA are sending students over to write about the exhibit. Professors are bringing their classes over to talk about the images. I get here at 7am and I swear the gallery is never empty.  We are nearing 800 visitors!!!! Thank you, thank you.

Of course they’d be lined up at the door – why not?  Depending on your perspective, these photographs are  beautiful, challenging, shocking, gross, but always interesting.  So why fear putting it out there?  Well, it’s also the case that the KI has been a target for those who object to any talk, information, or portrayal of sexuality, and we do proceed cautiously.  But the art of the body should be seen, discussed, critiqued, and appreciated.  So here it is!

If you can’t visit Expressive Bodies in person, check it out online.  We have nothing to fear.

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