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My research critically engages with the narratives of modern art from the perspectives of derided or ignored alternatives—sculpture, "academic" art, queer sexualities, transforming genders, camp, and non-seriousness. The questions I ask of the history of art are developed from engagements with the interdisciplinary fields of transgender studies, queer studies, game studies, and performance studies, and I have focused on the history of modern sculpture from its nineteenth-century origins to its legacies in contemporary art practice. My current projects deal with abstraction and transgender capacity as part of a larger inquiry into the changing status of the human figure in modern and contemporary art.
From my work on nineteenth-century sculptors such as Auguste Rodin to my research on contemporary art and performance, a central concern has been the ways in which artists have used sexuality as a resource in their development of public modes of practice, pluralistic accounts of sociality, and accessible artistic vocabularies. Similarly, my research draws from transgender studies as a means to excavate the competing accounts of personhood that underwrote histories of figuration and abstraction. DG