UC San Diego officials on Monday defended an art professor who encourages his students to perform their final examinations in the nude.
The mother of a student of associate professor Ricardo Dominguez told 10News he forced her daughter to remove her clothing or risk failing a class entitled “Visual Arts 104A: Performing the Self.”
The mother, who declined to be identified, said a blanket requirement for students to be nude to pass the class made her sick to her stomach.
Jordan Crandall, chairman of UCSD’s Visual Arts Department, released a statement Monday in which he said the course is not required for graduation and that removing clothing is not a requirement to pass.
“It has a number of prompts for short performances called ‘gestures,”‘ Crandall said. “These include ‘Your Life: With 3 Objects and 3 Sounds’ and ‘Confessional Self,’ among others. Students are graded on the ‘Nude/Naked Self’ gesture just like all the other gestures.”
He said students can perform the Nude/Naked Self gesture in ways without removing their clothes.
“There are many ways to perform nudity or nakedness, summoning art history conventions of the nude or laying bare of one’s ‘traumatic’ or most fragile and vulnerable self,” Crandall said. “One can ‘be’ nude while being covered.”
He said online comments from former students clarify the issue, while stressing that the concerns of students are the department’s top priority.
Dominguez said students are also offered the option of being figuratively or emotionally naked. Students are aware of the requirement from the first day of class and he’s never received a complaint before, the professor said.
Students uncomfortable with the revealing nature of the course should not enroll in the class, he said.
— City News Service
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