After garnering national attention for the university, a visual arts final that asks students to perform “nudity or nakedness” will remain a part of the class.
The class, titled “Visual Arts 104A: Performing the Self,” caught the public eye after the mother of a student told 10News that her daughter would fail the course unless she took her clothes off.
Jordan Crandall, chair of the UCSD Visual Arts Department, defended Associate Professor Ricardo Dominguez, saying that nudity in the physical sense is not necessarily required. The final setting would involve all of the students and the professor getting nude— literally or figuratively— in a dark room lit by candles.
“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 in a statement. “One can ‘be’ nude while being covered.”
Crandall and other UCSD officials also emphasized that VIS 104A is not a graduation requirement for any student.
Students have also defended Dominguez’s class, including senior Lisa Korpos, who told the UCSD Guardian that the course boosted her confidence as an artist.
“Professor Dominguez has fostered a very supportive, open, safe environment in order for all the artists enrolled in his class to genuinely express themselves,” Korpos said.
However, another student appeared on Fox & Friends to say that taxpayers should have a say over what goes on in the class of a public institution.
Dominguez himself said that he has never received a complaint about the course, and that students are aware of the nature of the final from the first day of class.
“It is intended to be provocative, to raise issues,” Dominguez said to the UCSD Guardian. “That is what performance art does.”
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