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Battleground States

It is in the “battleground states,” or undecided regions of the country, that the votes cast during a political election impact the entire country. In a similar way, issues of gender politics are resolved in those places, and surrounding those subjects, where there are battlegrounds of tension and ambiguity. The Battleground States exhibit at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art is about far more than just sexuality; it also encompasses the meaning of living in a physical body, representation, identity and being part of a culture.

The possibilities are explored through installation pieces, painting, photography, videos and sculpture. This exhibit brings some of the most provocative and controversial artists in the world to UMOCA: Matthew Barney, known primarily for his highly acclaimed Cremaster Cycle of experimental films; photographer Annie Leibowitz, who photographed some of the most famous people in the world; and Genesis Breyer P-orridge (his “Thee Ghost” is pictured), founder of the British rock group Psychic TV and occult group Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth, among others. Each artist attempts to trace where the lines are drawn within ourselves.

But the narrative of the entire exhibition is inaugurated with Utah painter Trevor Southey and the story of his sojourn through growing up in South Africa, joining the Mormon church and later coming to Utah and coming to terms with his homosexuality. The path of self-discovery that can be charted through his works is nothing less than inspiring. (Brian Staker)

Date: Oct 23, 2012
Phone: 801-328-4201
Address: 20 S. West Temple, Salt Lake City, 84101
Where: Utah Museum of Contemporary Art