SexEd: Chapter 1 exhibition at Cuchifritos Gallery February 9-March 10, 2013

SexEd: Chapter 1
Curated by Liz Slagus & Norene Leddy
February 9-March 10, 2013
Cuchifritos Gallery, 120 Essex St., Essex Market, Lower East Side
Opening Saturday February 9 4-6:30pm

-Click here to download the press release

“SexEd: Chapter 1” is the first of a series of exhibitions that will serve as platforms for knowledge-sharing and community participation in the building of a comprehensive and collaborative, artist-inspired sex education curriculum.

The exhibition is a launch pad for SexEd, with a call for community participation via a YouTube video call, which invites the public to become part of this project through the submission of videos that answer the question: What do you wish someone taught or told you about sex? Meant to inspire a sense of community and information exchange around the topic of sex, the YouwishyouwouldhaveknownTube project is an open call for a collective response to the aforementioned challenge.

The exhibition will feature:

  • 3 commissioned artists’ videos responding to the call,
  • A repository for the growing collection of self-produced sex education lessons,
  • Community-based public programming that will facilitate new video-making and sexual health awareness,
  • Information-exchange about SexEd’s various projects and future residency program.

“SexEd: Chapter 1” Commissioned Artists:

Rebecca Herman and Mark Shoffner

Original Sex
Rebecca Herman and Mark Shoffner
New York, USA

Original Sex is a sex-education drama that presents the (imagined) views of Supreme Court Justices Scalia and Thomas. The justices teach the principles of “original sex” based on the principles of America’s Founding Fathers and role-play a courtship scene between George Washington and Martha Dandrige.

Rebecca Herman and Mark Shoffner explore themes of social control, physical suppression and punishment that hold a place in our collective psyche but are not discussed or seen. Through sculptures, videos and performances, they invite viewers into disconcerting, humorous, and transformative experiences. In 2012, “The Aggressor Center,” their video installation about water torture, was featured at IV Soldiers Gallery in Brooklyn, and their drawing of a prison escape device was included in the book “Architectural Inventions, Visionary Drawings.” Their interactive sculptures and performances have been on view at outdoor festivals, including their class “Easy-to-Draw Dictators” for School of the Future in Brooklyn, and exhibitions and events in McCarren Park, Brooklyn; Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens; Evergreen Museum, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore; Brooklyn Bridge Park; and Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. In New York, their work has been featured in a solo exhibition at Black & White Gallery, in addition to group exhibitions at The Drawing Center, Exit Art, and Sculpture Center. The artists, who have been collaborators since 1999, have been in residence at Contemporary Art Center Woodside, Catskill Center for Conservation and Development and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. They have been recipients of a grant from the Experimental Television Center, and their video work has screened at Anthology Film Archives.


Johana Moscoso

Ellas / Them (Women)
Johana Moscoso
Chicago, USA

“While identifying with Gabriela Mistral’s women in the book entitled Mad Women, I began noticing that each poem displays a different aspect of a woman’s personality. Finishing the book I realized that each of these characters were made up of multiple iterations of women that I have known throughout my life.

Ellas / Them (Women) is a characterization and compilation of all the different women that have contributed the sex education that I received in my native country, Colombia. Each woman is portrayed through a series of commentaries and sets that reflect their identity.”

Johana Moscoso’s practice evokes intimate feelings and fragile situations that are the result of her existing in two cultures, Latin and American. As a cathartic act she explores a personal stage of being. The journey of being a Latin woman and Resident Alien drives her and has led her to study the process of her adaptation to new environments. For example, her feminine aspects are highlighted through the use of her body as a material that becomes affected with functional sculptures that she creates for various reasons. Being from a family of tailors, as well as her experiences as a teacher, has guided her in the application of performance, video and textiles in her work. In addition to these mediums/processes, she uses other materials like electronics and found objects that are often combined with traditional art techniques such as drawing and photography.


Karen B. K. Chan (artist and founder of Fluid Exchange

Karen B. K. Chan
Toronto, Canada

A stop-motion animation by Toronto sex educator Karen B. K. Chan, Jam is a proposal for rethinking how we have sex. The current, common framework derives from how we deal with commodities. Goods to be traded are considered to be better when they’re new, scarce, selfishly owned, and standardized. Sexual consent is often a mere legal concern, like the fine print that protects opposing parties against each other. Jam proposes an alternate framework for sexual connection that comes directly from musical improvisation. According to this proposal, experience and pleasure are valued, partners are collaborators in unscripted journeys, and consent is ongoing and reciprocal, just like in any musical jam session.

Karen B. K. Chan has been an educator and trainer in the field of sexual health for 15-plus years. Karen’s work is anchored in the Social Determinants of Health; emotional literacy; diversity competence and inclusion; and honest, real, and relevant sexual information.

Themes of her work include the re-imagination of sex and desire; play and playfulness, and the role of nuance, obscurity, and contradiction within sexuality. Through playful, safe, and honest engagement, Karen facilitates learning, curiosity, and tranformation, and challenges her audience to become a little more of the person they want to be.

Karen’s current projects include individual and group consultations on engineering desire; a video work that reframes sex as collaborative improvisation; and the development of tools to refocus desire – away from sexual activity and toward sexual experience and meaning-making.

See Karen’s full biography.