What We Talk About

When we talk about sexuality and gender, what do we say?

In Chapter 17 of The Feast of Love, Charles Baxter’s meta-narrative about the complicated — sometimes sweet, sometimes erotic and perverse — sex and love lives of a group of severely confused characters, pierced barista Chloe is told that her attempt to make extra cash by breaking into the amateur porn industry has failed. The potential producer can tell that she and her boyfriend, Oscar, are in love, and thus found the footage to be “creepy, too plain-style, and also too Midwestern.” At the heart of the novel — and certainly of Chloe’s situation — is a revised version of Raymond Carver’s 25-year-old question: What do we talk about when we talk about sex and love?

Baxter will ask a similar question — how do sexuality and gender influence art, society and behavior? — during this weekend’s Sex & Sensibility Artposium in Trinidad. Joining him in the discussion will be Dr. Marci Bowers, head of the Gender Reassignment Surgery Department in Trinidad; artists Katy Haas and Mark Newport, who deal with the human form and gender-identity issues; film-studies professor Melinda Barlow; and authors Laura Pritchett and Joe Quirk.

The three-day artposium is sponsored by the Colorado Art Ranch and takes place at the Massari Performing Arts Center on the Trinidad State Junior College campus. Registration is on a sliding scale of $25 to $200. Get more information at www.coloradoartranch.org or by calling 303-279-5198.
May 15-17, 2009

 
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