Atlanta, GA

Joe Sola

Atlanta College of Art Gallery

Jacques Lacan once observed, “In the human being, virile display itself appears as feminine.” The title of Joe Sola’s recent exhibition, “Taking a Bullet,” first mounted at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, hints at a similar paradox. Sola evokes memories of Hollywood genre films, suggesting that the person offering up the ultimate sacrifice is most likely to be either a man’s male buddy or a femme fatale. The gesture itself—the refusal to get out of harm’s way—combines stereotypically masculine action with stereotypically feminine passivity, and this dialectic is at the heart of Sola’s project.

The centerpiece of the show, the performance/installation Male Fashion Models Make Conceptual Art, 2006, takes a swipe at the archetypal dyad of the dynamic masculine artist and his inert feminine model. As the title suggests, Sola hired five male models to make art at the exhibition’s opening.

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