Synopses & Reviews
The erotic and the intellectual come together to create a new kind of criticism in the lushly written work of Joanna Frueh. Addressing sexuality in ways that are usually hidden or left unsaid, Frueha noted performance artist and art historianexplores subjects such as aging, beauty, love, sex, pleasure, contemporary art, and the body as a site and vehicle of knowledge. Frueh's language is explicit, graphic, fragmented. She assumes multiple voices: those of lover, prophet, daughter, mythmaker, art critic, activist, and bleeding heart. What results is an utterly original narrative that frees us from the false objectivity of traditional critical discourse and affirms the erotic as a way to ease human suffering.
Through personal reflection, parody, autobiography, and poetry, Frueh shows us what it means to perform criticism, to personalize critical thinking. Rejecting postmodern, deconstructed prose, she recuperates the sentimental, proudly asserts a romantic viewpoint, and disrupts academic and feminist conventions. Erotic Faculties seeks to free the power of our unutilized erotic faculties and to expand the possibilities of criticism; it is a wild ride and a consummate pleasure.
"Joanna Frueh's work is risky, lascivious, fluid, accessible, personal, theoretical, and very beautiful. She does what few other art historians have the nerve to do and that is to conflate theory with lived and erotic experience."Barbara De Genevieve, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
"This is the strongest, most powerful book I have read in a long time. . . . It initiates a kind of writing, or opens a kind of fissure in writing, that needs to be opened, and the example of this book will, especially among women writers, serve to facilitate that opening. To borrow one of the essay's titles, I think it will literally be the 'mouth piece' of a new kind of critical practice."Henry Sayre, Oregon State University
"The book is luminous, embodied, puts thought where lived experience and theory merge."Carolee Schneemann
About the Author
Joanna Frueh is an art historian and performance artist who teaches at the University of Nevada, Reno. She is the author of Hannah Wilke: A Retrospective (1989) and coeditor of Feminist Art Criticism: An Anthology (1991) and New Feminist Criticism: Art, Identity, Action (1994).