By Jessica Borusky
mini golf of sensual sports by McKinna Anderson, curated by Allison Westerfield @ Florida Mining
5300 Shad Rd
Jacksonville, FL 32257
Open Monday – Friday
10AM – 5PM or by appointment
May 3rd, 2021 – July 2nd, 2021
All images courtesy Florida Mining Gallery and the artist
mini golf of sensual sports is a solo exhibition by McKinna Anderson at Florida Mining Gallery and curated by Allison Westerfield. Anderson is perusing her MFA at the University of Florida, Westerfeild will be a PhD candidate at UF in fall 2021. mini golf of sensual sports scrutinizes performances of cis-hetero masculine self-portraiture through the dating app Tinder. The result is an installation invoking the tenuous relationship between hetero-normative expectations, consumption and production of the (in)visibility of individuation, performances of self, and- ultimately- an ironic sadness within contemporary constructions of self and projections of potential intimacy through the digital dating landscape.
mini golf of sensual sports deconstructs individuated images of (cis-hetero) men’s profile pictures on the dating app Tinder through Photoshop to mask/erase subjectivity while highlighting the trappings around the subject- animals hunted, outdoor spaces, food, and fun(!). Digital editing outlines are markedly present as subjects are hollowed out, however, viewers can easily read these photographic specters as posturing for the anonymous and presumably cis-hetero female-bodied person on the other side of the ever-swiping screen. Anderson’s exercise in subject-removal might find connections within a western-history of upper-class and aristocratic portraiture where those photographed were posed with symbolic objects meant to disclose interests such as travel, science, art, and spirituality—Anderson’s contemporary take seems to employ the reversal of such materialisms and goes even further in rendering the images content-less. Fourteen images are enveloped by hand-made tawny frames, while smaller, unframed works are cohered a grid of twenty-five illuminated hands around meat and animals. Each series is placed over faux wood and wildlife wallpaper, reminiscent of a masculine den, “man-cave,” or any other basement aesthetic tropes.
Walls that separate the groups are covered with tiled text pieces that are sourced from chat threads on Tinder. The works in this installation provide a necessary materiality to a niche digital atmosphere—sans subjecthood, individuality, and nuance. Anderson’s aesthetic decisions illustrate the exhibit’s point: in a Foucaultian* layout, we recognize “individuality” as a deeply unstable notion, a courtship-cultural complacency (re)producing masculine imagery on heavy rotation through repetition of similar imagery throughout the dating profile pictures. At what point is this type of cis-hetero and masculine performance acceptable or desirable even? Anderson plays with this question through her labored, digital removal of her subjects. (*In much of Foucualt’s work, he unpacks how the notion of “self” is a construction based on continuous and intersecting systems within the institutions of education, history, sexuality, and medicine. See History of Sexuality, Discipline and Punish, and Birth of the Clinic)
Images L to R: Jeff 28 (Tattoos. Sports. Golfing), Cody 27 (Straight), Todd 29 (Actually 23)
I wonder: how might this exhibition present if gender roles were reversed? Would this work be perceived as problematic, belittling even, of femme-performances in self-portrait strategies on digital dating sites? In this light, does Anderson’s artistic gesture read as obsessive, intrusive, and/or voyeuristic? The absence of bodies, the text-pieces, and hands holding meat and animals in mini golf of sensual sports remind us of social-cultural acceptance of violence, brutality, and possession. Why do male-bodied people perform these photographic acts for the small screen—for momentary exposure to the unknown, over and over again? How can seeing these images constructed, composed, selected, and redacted by the artist possibly affirm shared cultural expectations of the performance of cis-hetero masculinity? Do cis-hetero men on these sites know that their visually competitive notion of “individuality” becomes readily taxonomized as material for aesthetic derision? Or does the undercurrent of desired and/or performed “normativity” reinforce a cis-hetero masculine belonging? And if so, how does Anderson’s digital interventions/erasure elucidate this fragility?
Leo 27 (Here for a limited time only. (Hopefully) Looking to get off. (This app), 2021
Anderson’s engagement with Tinder, her identification as a cis-woman, and at least for the purposes of the project, as heterosexual, invokes Nikki S. Lee’s “Projects” series (1997-2001). Unlike Lee however, Anderson exists outside the frame, her presence palpable through Photoshop mark-making and redaction, transcribing subjects invisible while elevating visual tropes of perceived and constructed subjectivity. Akin to Lee’s quasi-anthropological project, Anderson states: “I am me, but I am also all of this, and these. I am what I present to you through language, appearance, and behavior. But I also exist elsewhere, on web-based platforms proliferated with images, videos, and associations that construct my identity. I am me, but I am also these things I like, I share, I post, I send. These digital attributes are within your reach, and I deem you able to do what you will with those, because you allow me to do the same.”
Dalton 24 (My Anthem: Born Free_Kid
mini golf of sensual sports will be on view until July 2nd, 2021 at Florida Mining Gallery. Florida Mining Gallery is a contemporary gallery exhibiting a myriad of emerging and mid-career southern artists. The gallery is open to the public Monday – Friday 10 am – 5 pm and by appointment.
Jessica Borusky is the University of North Florida Gallery Director and Instructor in the Art, Art History and Design department. They are a curator, educator, cultural organizer, and artist, with a focus on contemporary issues in art and organizing, public performance, queerness, language, and expanded media. They received their MFA in Studio Art from Tufts University and School of the Museum of Fine Arts with a concentration in video, performance, and gender studies from the Wome’ns and Gender Studies Consortium at MIT. Borusky has worked for educational institutions, arts nonprofits, and civic organizations across the US.
McKinna Anderson is currently pursing a Masters in Fine Arts degree at the University of Florida in creative photography. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from The University of South Florida in 2016. Her practice works with photography, sculpture, and installation. Often photographing herself or using her own social media, her work presents, examines, and critiques the way we utilize these social platforms and questions our relationship to self through intervention by others.