Dialogues in the Visual Arts: The Fearsome BMI: Women Artists and The Body

BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center, the longest operating performance venue in lower Manhattan, proudly presents The Fearsome BMI: Women Artists and The Body: the first lecture in the Dialogues in the Visual Arts series, curated by Susan Fleminger. The Fearsome BMI: Women Artists and The Body will be presented with a reception for $5 on Wednesday, March 13 at 7PM.

Body Mass Index (BMI) is described as "a number calculated from a person's weight and height that provides a reliable indicator of body fat for most people ,and is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems." Sounds good, but is it? BMI constructs an ideal for all woman that may not be conducive to a positive self-image, particularly for those from diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds. And, recently there has arisen a debate about whether BMI is actually "reliable.” This panel will address contemporary mainstream ideals of beauty and health, and their impact on women as seen through the eyes of contemporary women artists and scholars. Dialogues in the Visual Arts is a theme-based visual arts program focusing on the work of multiple artists sharing one bill and moderated by critics, gallery owners and curators.

• Tatiana Florez – Director, Rutgers Institute for Women and Art, Professor of Art History and Latino and Caribbean Studies, Rutgers University
Tatiana Flores is an assistant professor at Rutgers University with a joint appointment in the Art History Department and the Department of Latino and Carribbean Studies. Her book, Mexico's Revolutionary Avant-Gardes, published by Yale University Press, will be available in spring 2013. Her BA, MA, and PhD are from Columbia University. She is the new director of the Rutgers University Institute for Women and Art.
• Ferris Olin - Professor Emertia Rutgers University, co-curator The Fertile Crescent
Olin is a co-founding director of the Rutgers University Institute for Women and Art. Her most recent project with co-director Judith K. Brodsky was The Fertile Crescent: Gender, Art,and Society. The project focused on women artists, writers, filmmakers, composers, and performers from the Middle East and took place at Rutgers and Princeton Universities, the Institute for Advanced Study, and public libraries and art centers in central New Jersey.

• Firelei Baez, Artist
Baez makes large scale, intricate works on paper exploring the impact of racial stereotypes on the female body, particularly in relation to the cultural ambiguities of contemporary diasporic societies. She received a B.F.A. from The Cooper Union's School of Art in 2004, participated in The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2008, and later received an M.F.A. from Hunter College in 2010. She has held residencies at The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace, The Lower East Side Print Shop and The Bronx Museum’s Artist in the Marketplace. She was a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Award as well as the Jaque and Natasha Gelman Award in Painting.
• Nancy Fried, Sculptor
Nancy Fried began creating terra-cotta torsos of women who had undergone radical mastectomies in 1986 following her own mastectomy. She subsequently chose not to have her missing breast reconstructed. Her powerful terra-cotta Self-Portraits reject the norms of ideal beauty imposed by society on the female body. Fried uses her own experience of the fragility of her body and her fear of death to explore a wide range of human emotions related to loss, death, and mourning. Fried's work is in many major museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She teaches at the Ethical Culture/Fieldston School.
• Lisa Rubin, Professor of Clinical Psychology/Assistant Director Clinical Training, New School University
Lisa Rubin’s expertise is in gender and health issues such as Body Image; Psycho-Oncology; Psychological Aspects of Cosmetic/Reconstructive Surgery; Hereditary Cancer Risk/ Risk Management; Assisted Reproductive Technologies; Abortion and Mental Health Reproductive Issues; and Feminist Identity. Recent publications include “Does That Make Me A Woman?: Breast Cancer, Mastectomy and Breast Reconstruction Decisions Among Sexual Minority Women," in Psychology of Women Quarterly.
• Michele Faith Wallace, Professor City College/Graduate Center City University of New York
Michele Faith Wallace is an author. Her publications include Black Macho and The Myth of The Superwoman and many writings on visual culture and its relationship to race and gender such as the essay, "Modernism, Postmodernism and the Problem of the Visual in Afro-American Culture" and the book, Black Popular Culture based on a conference organized by Wallace at The Studio Museum in Harlem in 1991 titled "Why Are There No Great Black Artists? The Problem of Visuality in African-American Culture." Wallace earned her B.A. and M.A. in English from The City College of New York and has a PhD in Cinema Studies from New York University. She is Professor of English at The City College and Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Tickets are $5. To purchase tickets, call Ticketing Services at (212) 220-1460. Single tickets can also be purchased by visiting the Box Office at 199 Chambers Street, Tues-Sat from 12PM – 6PM.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM


BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center
199 Chambers St
New York 10007