The New School Archives Digital Collections

Parsons School of Design MFA Photography program theses2009 (PC020403.05) ➔ Performance and the Male Nude


Related people/organizations

Parsons School of Design. Photography Department. (sponsoring body)
Jessica Yatrofsky (photographer)


May 2009


I am interested in the male nude – its beauty, its mystic energy, its taboo and the attitudes people have toward this underrepresented figure. I stage performances that center on a confrontational quality driven by this nude presence. There is a certain charge that exists that I believe is derived from the energy that the male nude exerts in a shared performance space; this space becomes activated with the presence of an audience. I want a dialogue with male sexuality. I want it represented. Our society is eager to construct and depict the sexuality of women, to portray them as sexual things, while actively avoiding the sex of the man. My earlier works (2007 – 2008), in which I interacted passively with male exhibitionists, were attempts to establish a conversation regarding this underrepresented subject. I would invite men to my studio where they would pose nude for me and perform (i.e., masturbate). I felt my own boundaries pushed, my intellect oddly stirred.. I began to think formally about how an audience might be confronted with these issues. Those works existed as surveillance footage and digital images that I now refer to as sketches. Video and photography are flat representations of an act already taken place. They lack the ability to communicate the impact that I felt, that I wanted an audience to feel. Theater gets closer. A live performance is my solution.



Use Restrictions   

There’s more! What you see on this site is only what is viewable online. Please visit our website to find out more about what’s in the archives.