May 12, 2015
Art Professor's Nude Exam Upsets Mom, But Ricardo Dominguez's Students Defend Him [Video]

An art professor's nude exam has one mother very upset that her daughter was asked to perform naked as part of Ricardo Dominguez's class called "Visual Arts 104A: Performing the Self." While many on social media are outraged at the UC San Diego class, it is claimed by some students that the class is "not some evil, lecherous event."

In a related report by the Inquisitr, the mother claimed that it was either strip or fail in order to pass the art professor's nude exam.

"There's a perversion going on here. The fact he is a professor and has control over these (kids), I think he's taking it was too far … It bothers me, I'm not sending her to school for this. To blanket say you must be naked in order to pass my class. It makes me sick to my stomach. It's just wrong. This is a memory (she'll) have to carry around with her for the rest of her life."
According to Ricardo Dominguez, it's not a requirement to become completely physically naked oneself in order to pass his class.

"There are many ways to perform nudity or nakedness," Dominguez explained, "Summoning art history conventions of the nude or laying bare of one's 'traumatic' or most fragile and vulnerable self. One can 'be' nude while being covered."

But nudity certainly is a large aspect of it, and he claims the students are warned very early on about the art professor's nude exam, where Dominguez himself strips down naked. Jordan Crandall, professor and department chairman for UCSD, also says the nudity aspect in the class's description was kept vague on purpose.

"The ambiguity around the question of 'nudity' and 'nakedness' is intentional," said Crandall, according to the Los Angeles Times. "It is intended to be provocative, to raise issues. That is what performance art does."

Of course, being "emotionally naked" is only one way to pass the art professor's nude exam, and some students do choose to wear their birthday suit instead of laying their soul bare. Students taking the course have also given Dominguez an "A" for his 104A course.

"This course truly teaches you about yourself and [the] skills learn[ed] are actually applicable to daily life," wrote one student, with another saying, "I couldn't make heads or tails of this class when I got there but in the end I'm so glad I took it. Definitely covers some shocking material but this class changed the way I think about art."

One comment left by a student also directly discussed the controversy over the art professor's nude exam.

"I've taken this class," wrote a student, "and known the professor for years and it's not some evil, lecherous event. It's performance art and it's the nature of it and build around a very supportive community."

Whatever his students may think, Ricardo Dominguez is no stranger to controversy. As a co-founder of the Electronic Disturbance Theater, he created the Transborder Immigrant Tool, a GPS-based smartphone app that helps illegal immigrants from Mexico cross into the United States. Activists will place containers of water along the path in order to ensure that the illegal immigrants safely make the crossing. Dominguez has also encouraged an act of "electronic civil disobedience" over the issue of illegal immigration.

What do you think about the art professor's nude exam?

[Image via UT San Diego]