Mounting Objects, Stimulating Objects, and Penetrating Objects (photo series)

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Date: 1993

Region: North America

Subject: Nudity, Explicit Sexuality

Medium: Photography


Artist: Aimee Beaubien

Confronting Bodies: Carol Becker, Dean School of The Art Institute of Chicago

Dates of Action: September 18, 1993

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Description of Artwork: Photographic details of a woman using household implements with which to masturbate. There is a disruption in the image surface that jars the projected fantasy. A hole has been punched out where the object makes contact with the clitoris (Stimulating Objects), in the space between the object and place of insertion (Mounting Objects), and an exterior representation of where the object penetrates upon insertion (Penetrating Objects).

The Incident: On September 16, Acting Dean Carol Becker and Executive Director of Academic Administration Jana Wright contacted photography chair Joyce Neimanas and requested that the work of graduate student Aimee Beaubien "be removed from public hallway space." It was displayed in The School of The Art Institute of Chicago's main Columbus Drive building photo cases on the second floor. According to Becker "several calls" had been placed to the School expressing concern over the nature of Beaubien's work possibly being offensive. Becker and Graduate Dean Steve Beal emphasized that young children may be exposed to the work during their classes on weekends. Neimanas informed the photo faculty and the case curator, Thompson Owen, about the dilemma, then informed Beaubien. After considering many options, Beaubien decided to move the cases into the photo lab.

Results of Incident: Following the incident a committee and a format of response was formed to handle controversial work in the future.

Source: "F Magazine," October 1993