Michigan State art professor Danny Guthrie recently just finished an art project where he photographed himself in varying states of undress, caressing the naked bodies of "former and current students." Time to rev up the ol' campus controversy machine!
As is required by the Second Law of College Controversy Dynamics, outraged students are now debating "patriarchal sexual relations dating back millennia," "the stigma our society has placed on nudity," and whether they should kick Professor Guthrie's "@$$." Did Guthrie cross the line? Did he abuse his power? He totally wants to bone his students, right?
The embattled professor took to his official Michigan State University webpage to issue a statement about the alleged wannabe boning:
[I]t would be evasive not to acknowledge that some of my interests are purely personal. I have reached a not entirely pleasant place in life one might call the fulcrum of middle age, with the balance shifting inexorably towards decrepitude. As one ages, it is with no small sense of remorse and regret, that one comes to experience the realm of desire, romance, and carnality as existing more in the past than the future.
Yeah, he totally wants to bone them.
I want the viewer to know I am investigating a history and practice of representation where the roles of viewer and viewed, seducer and object of seduction, are examined and perturbed.
Problematize. Milieu. Inexorable. [sex sounds]
The individuals in these photographs are current and former students, colleagues, friends and acquaintances. They have worked with me to adopt poses and create scenarios with which they have some level of comfort. Such collaboration involves considerable risk-taking and trust. The images do not mean I have this or that fantasy about a particular individual or situation, but they do explore emotions that I—and I assume most others—have felt.
Oh, I'm sorry, did my arm end up around your shoulders, while I was stretching just now? I think it was an accident, but let's wait for the peer review before we jump to conclusions. There could be a book in this, you know. Grant money, even.
Bullshitty as the whole situation is, I'm taking Professor Guthrie's side as a matter of principle. What's the point of art, if not to provide an outlet for weird old perverts to express socially frowned-upon kinks while the rest of us point and stare? Galatea was but a primitive Courtney Stodden, Pygmalion her Doug Hutchison.