University of California, San Diego professor Ricardo Dominguez ticked off what seems like an overbearing mother for asking his students to take their art final in the nude. Dominguez says it’s clearly stated in his Visual Arts 104A: Performing the Self class, and something he’s never had a complaint about in 11 years of teaching. “At the very end of the class, we’ve done several gestures, they have to [do a] nude gesture,” the professor tells ABC affiliate 10News. “The prompt is to speak about or do a gesture or create an installation that says, ’What is more you than you are?’ It’s a standard canvas for performance art and body art. It is very all controlled. If they are uncomfortable with this gesture they should not take the class.”
Dominguez gets nude with the 20 students in what he calls a “performance of self,” in a dark room lit only by candles. This is where outraged mom comes in – who prefers to remain anonymous, by the way. “It bothers me, I’m not sending [my daughter] to school for this,” she told 10News via phone. “To blanket say you must be naked in order to pass my class… It makes me sick to my stomach.” Although Dominguez says otherwise, this woman claims he never revealed this information prior to the final. (If that’s the case, then why is she the only one to complain?)
10News received a statement from Dr. Jordan Crandall, the school’s chair of the Visual Arts department, who backs the professor:
Removing your clothes is not required in this class. The course is not required for graduation. Students are aware from the start of the class that it is a requirement, and that they can do the gesture in any number of ways without actually having to remove their clothes. Dominguez explains this – as does our advising team if concerns are raised with them. 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. One can “be” nude while being covered.
A friend of mine who goes to UCSD says students on campus are feeling pretty YOLO about the situation. “Most people seem to really not care,” he explains. “If you don’t wanna do it, don’t take the class.” Also, why is this parent the only one doing the talking here and not the actual student? Seriously, the only one.
She who shall not be named should probably back the hell off and let this man do his job. I understand this might make you feel uncomfortable, but again, then don’t take the damn class — or don’t let your 18+ child take the class.