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About This Book
FLEX explores the potent intersections of muscular physiques and heroic imagery across history, and how these images represent changing notions of bravery, beauty, and health. Works ranging from historical material, material culture, and contemporary art are explored through cross-disciplinary essays and interviews by artists and Skidmore College faculty. FLEX challenges long-held assumptions and classical ideals of muscle, presenting a range of perspectives across race, gender, and ability. Looking carefully at muscled images, FLEX reflects on the ever-present gaze leveled at our bodies, and the scrutiny, criticism, and correction they routinely undergo.
The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College
Barbara Glauber / Heavy Meta
Dan Curley, Rachel Seligman, Gregory Spinner
Michael Arnush, Lara Ayad, Ian Berry, Cassils, Joseph Cermatori, David L. Chapman, Dan Curley, Sarah DiPasquale, Paul Harding, Gene Kannenberg Jr., Nick Junkerman, Leslie Mechem, Susannah Mintz, Daniel A. Nathan, Jeffrey O. Segrave, Rachel Seligman, John Sonsini, Gregory Spinner, Jessica Sullivan, Russ Testo, Murat C. Yildiz
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By complicating viewers’ expectations, we invite them to reflect upon what happens
when gazing on muscled bodies. Who is seen in museums, and who remains unseen?
What audience does this viewing presume? Which ideals are being expressed and emulated? What is it that we as a society value? These questions precipitate a necessary conversation that FLEX intends to enable and extend in provocative and stimulating ways.