Sordoni hosts visiting professor’s lecture on Warhol

Cabrini Rudnicki, News Editor

The newly reopened Sordoni Art Gallery will be hosting a speaker on Oct. 25 for its Andy Warhol themed lecture series.

Dr. Benjamin Kahan, who is an associate professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Louisiana State University, is visiting the university to deliver a lecture titled “Andy Warhol is a ‘V’: Philosophical Bachelorhood and the Celibate Factory.”

Dr. Kahan has previously written books on sexuality, including titles such as “Celibacies: American Modernism and Sexual Life
and “Psychopathia Sexualis’ (1844): A Classic Text in the History of Sexuality.”

The lecture, which begins at 4:30 p.m.. in the Karambelas Media and Communication Center in room 135, will be open to the public.

According to Kahan’s description of the lecture, the discussion will focus on Andy Warhol’s mysterious yet loud views on sex.

“Recasting the famously Queer Factory as a celibate sociality, this talk maps a secular group celibacy in Warhol’s studio and the particular Eros native to it,” Kahan’s lecture description said.

The lecture series was created by Heather Sincavage, the director of the Sordoni Art Gallery.

“When putting the lecture series together in general, we really wanted to look at Andy Warhol and the icon he became,” said Sincavage. “Not only was he influential to the art world, he became quite influential to people across pop culture.”

Sincavage compared Warhol’s self-aware sexual image creation to that of Morrissey and Lady Gaga, two celebrities who also have sexual themes in their art without their private sexual life being in the foreground. Previously, Dr. Kahan looked at these celebrities, and others in other lectures.

“I thought the idea of constructing his [Warhol’s] image was pretty current. It’s similar to modern celebrities, and how it’s pretty much an influencer on our own behaviors.”

“Andy Warhol, who we definitely knew was gay, didn’t talk much about those relationships; he kept that pretty much to himself,” explained Sincavage, “He presented this image of celibacy in a way.”

The lecture will discuss poignant moments of Warhol’s life, such as his announcement of his marriage to a tape recorder.

“It’s the whole idea of intimacy with someone else, and not allowing that relationship with his actual partner to be a topic of discussion.”

“He’s coming from the art world in the 60s, that’s certainly a time when homosexuality is not entirely accepted by society,” she elaborated. “I think that the fact that he’s on the forefront of being one of the first people to come out and really stand by that, and how he kind of worked with that when it’s not necessarily accepted  … I think is going to be very interesting to hear about.”

Lanai Galarza, a senior psychology major, commented on her excitement for the lecture.

“I think it will be really informative about an artist that I’ve heard his name a lot, but I don’t know a lot about, so it would be nice to learn stuff about him.”

The gallery reopened on Oct. 6 with collection curated by Heather Sincavage titled “15 Minutes: From Image to Icon.”

A previous lecture, a curator’s tour hosted by Sincavage, was held on Oct. 11. Another lecture will be held on Nov. 15, called “Andy and the Rusyns,” focusing on his background as a son of an Eastern European immigrant family.