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Del La Grace Volcano, an artist whose work challenges viewers to think about the ways we define ourselves, will visit Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center (341 Delaware Ave.) at 8 p.m. Thursday as part of the Leslie+Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art's Queer Art Lecture Series.
Volcano, who identifies neither as male nor female, has gained exposure in European museums and art institutions. But the artist has not been embraced by the American art establishment, which Jonathan Katz, University at Buffalo professor and president of the New York City-based Leslie+Lohman Museum, attributes to a continued squeamishness on the part of American museums about gender and sexuality issues.
"S/he is at once photographer and sitter, American and European, a she and a he, or better, intersexed," according to a release about the event. "Volcano's art plays with constructions of gender, sexuality and race, recasting embodiment from a brute fact of nature to a creative exercise of will. A proud abolitionist, Volcano asks why we are so invested in exclusively binary accounts of identity - male or female, black or white, LGBTQ or straight - when we could instead support a more inclusive, humane, and encompassing blurring of all such categories."
Thursday's talk, co-presented by Hallwalls and UB's visual studies department, is free. Call 854-1694 or visit www.hallwalls.org.
- Colin Dabkowski