Date of Award

Spring 5-14-2015

Author's School

Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts

Author's Department/Program

Art (Sculpture)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)


Patriarchy as a system of cultural organization is entering a new period of existence where the notion of masculine predominance is challenged and the power of maleness is redressed. This shift is extremely slow and just begun, but felt nonetheless by men. Masculine identity has long been dependent on patriarchy for definition. Modern masculinity, shaped by the tenants of patriarchy, emphasizes the power of the masculine over the feminine and perpetuates the supposedly inherent entitlement of the male condition. As cultural power is rebalanced the inherited power of masculinity will diminish. The inheritance of power that has allowed men to shape and control society has been an essential component of masculine gender identity and modern male socialization. What will men do when they lose this power? This thesis intends to address this question through the medium of sculpture. Inspired by the writing and work of Louise Bourgeois, Eugene Monick, and Robert Morris, among many others, this thesis proposes a symbolic language for the aesthetic investigation of the masculine. It discusses the primary symbols of masculinity, and establishes a material framework within which to consider the relationships between these symbols. It seeks to divorce masculinity from the patriarchal mold and establish a masculine self-regard that is not reliant on the subjugation of the un-masculine.


English (en)

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