In common parlance, masculinity is synonymous with strength and virility–traits that are traditionally used to define ideals of maleness. Such characteristics permeate representations of men and lived pressures of what men are told they should be. Made Masculine’s framework accepts the idea of masculinity as simply that: made, fashioned and repackaged generation to generation. Despite the rigidity of a seemingly singular ideal, fabricated from the tenets of patriarchy, masculinities are multifaceted and shaped by other factors like age, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, and geography. Furthermore, perceptions of “masculinity” are dependent on the construction of its opposite: “femininity.” In this exhibition, selected artworks by thirteen contemporary artists based in the United Statesi explore the artifice of masculinity through themes such as strength, desire and intimacy, while exposing a specter of masculinity that remains central to the discussion. What does it mean to be “made masculine” or to make one’s own masculinities?
"Kledia Spiro’s parents are willing and wedded co-performers in her 2-channel video Trousseau. The channels emphasize the endurance and repetition of training, as well as isolate each parent in a separate frame. Her parents only come together through Spiro’s attempt to lift them. Her performance offers an image of strength and athleticism that challenges assumptions of these characteristics as male, and binds them to heritage." - Curator, Lisa Crossman, P.h.D.