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New exhibit showcases cross-dressing in media and design

on Wednesday,February 17,2010 22:02

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The List Visual Arts Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has opened an exhibit that will examine the sexual boundaries - or lack thereof - of fashion design.

Virtuoso Illusion: Cross-Dressing and the New Media Avant-Garde features work that showcases the use of drag as a tactic for media artists. This type of art stems back to the sexual liberation of the 1960s, which established cross-dressing as a form of open expression for homosexuals and proponents of avant-garde art, including Jack Smith, Kenneth Anger and Andy Warhol.

The exhibit includes videos, installations, photographs and performances that explore the ways cross-dressing can lead to artistic experimentation and innovation. In addition, organizers of the event have created a 64-page catalogue, which features essays from movement leaders Michael Rush, John Kelly and Ara Merjian as well as black-and-white and color reproductions of some of their key works.

The exhibition - which will be displayed through April 10 - opened February 5 with a conversation with Michelle Handelman, Charles Atlas and John Kelly, whose works are featured in the show.

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