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The art side of porn

Cassandra McGowan, Reporter

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The Gadfly Café in the Levan Center for the Humanities hosted an open discussion on the topic of Art and Pornography and how they correlate, or don’t, to each other. The discussion was open to anyone who wanted to come and anyone was welcome to say whatever they felt pertinent to the topic.
There were about 60 people from Bakersfield College that included students, faculty, and even administrators who joined the conversation.
Rene Trujillo, professor of philosophy, introduced art pieces by Francisco Goya, Edouard Manet, as well as pieces by Robert Mapplethorpe.
These pieces were considered as obscene and lewd because they featured nude women and men in a time where nudity was socially unacceptable and was often considered pornographic.
Trujillo explained that in 1988 the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. was forced to cancel its exhibition of Mapplethorpe’s art because many congressional persons, including Jesse Helms who was a senator of North Carolina, were offended by the art and by the fact that national funds were used to pay for the event.
The talk brought up many social issues, such as obscenity and censorship, and who decides what is obscene, and whether or not it should be censored.
Joel Rodriguez, who is 23 and is majoring in psychology, has Trujillo as a professor. Rodriguez started attending the forums last year and, at first, only started going because he was getting extra credit in class but once he was there he enjoyed the discussions.
“He [Trujillo] invited the class to come, so here I am, and there’s some really powerful discussions and it’s nice to know what other people’s opinions are on subjects, especially things like pornography and art,” said Rodriguez.
“Porn touches more on a part of our animalistic being where art is more of our intellectual part, they’re just both part of our humanity,” Rodriguez said of his opinion on the topic and also believed that discussion could have gone a lot deeper given more time.
While a lot of the discussion topics come from people who have previously attended these seminars, Trujillo said that he and Jack Hernandez, who is the Levan Center director, also come up with themes for discussion without an agenda behind them.
“The idea is to have conversations, more conversations on campus, conversations that cut across the different parts of campus and to talk about things that are hopefully interesting to people,” said Trujillo.
The next discussion in the Gadfly Café will be on Nov. 19 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. and the topic will be: Religion — Vehicle for Liberation or Enslavement of the Individual?

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1 Comment

One Response to “The art side of porn”

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The art side of porn