Inner Space Gallery presents Jessamyn Plotts: “A New Woman featuring Heavy Fingering”
As a traditionally white and male institution, the frat holds a powerful weight of race and gender, asserting the continuation of racial and hetero-normative lifestyles into a future that has never been more ambiguous on these fronts. Increasing tension and violence around fraternity and sorority houses over the past two years suggest an intensification of cultural and ideological performance in response to shifting sexual and racial paradigms. Consider the suspension of fraternity activity on both the CalPoly and Texas State campuses following instances of racism and death, both this year.
These are only two instances of what seems like constant issues that are particularly alcohol/drug related, sex/gender/body related, or race related. From Animal House to Old School, we are asked to condone the youthful exploits of men. Neighbors 2 complicated the landscape only minimally by collaging the visual and behavioral attributes of frat boys onto the bodies of female actresses. “Heavy Fingering” addresses the frat as a site of extreme action, extreme performance, and extreme power in the psyche of Americans of any gender, whether as fear or as self-validating energy.
Rarely has this site been addressed in an art context, where populations tend to organize themselves in resistance to what the frat and frat boy represent. Considering American politics post Trump, now seems like the right time to bridge the gap between these worlds.