Contemporary Reactions: Out Loud
As first-time visitors to UMOCA, Asa and his family weren’t quite sure of what to expect. Mistyamber specified that Panopticon serves as a great “reminder to be careful, and that social media has powerful consequences,” and related how oversharing on the Internet can be problematic—for example, when people announce their vacations, it’s akin to letting everyone know that the house is empty and waiting to be robbed. After exploring Panopticon and Adjunct, the family came back to the art of Out Loud.
The Davis County family particularly loved the art created through Out Loud, UMOCA’s youth empowerment workshop, which just completed its first year. Seeing the powerful messages delivered in playful manners allowed the family to explore the concept of gender expression and the methods by which we see people as belonging to distinct groups with specific characteristics, rather than as simply people who have a range of possible identities.
We spoke of the meaning behind such works as Francisco K.’s Hammering Down Roles, which transforms a hammer into a repurposed piece of bejeweled hardware that is no longer fit for construction work, but when on display, acts as the ultimate shiny accessory.
All too often, we forget that gender is a social construct, and Out Loud was created to offer LGBTQ+ teens an opportunity to creatively explore the blurred lines surrounding gender self-expression. In this case, it gave a set of parents a chance to talk about the precarious habit of making engendered assumptions. They enjoyed the conversation, too: While Asa was talking about roles traditionally taken on by men, he identified the example as men being considered the breadwinners of their families. Mistyamber instantly jumped in, saying, “Sounds great to me!” Asa proceeded to joke about needing to find a second job—in all seriousness, the family appreciated the conversation surrounding the sometimes opposing roles ascribed to people on a daily basis.
Written by Joe Taylor
UMOCA is proud to present the work of the talented young Out Loud participants. Act fast to see Out Loud before it closes on June 27.
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