The course is taught by Professor Ricardo Dominguez (pictured), but he insists that he has had no other complaints in 11 years. But an outraged mother claims the exam makes her ‘sick to her stomach’, adding that the requirement is a ‘perversion’. But now imagine that to pass the exam, you have to be unclad in a candlelit classroom. Not only in front of your whole class, but also in front of your professor.
At the University of California, San Diego, this unclad final exam is in fact a course requirement for a class in the visual arts department. But nudity isn’t enough for the students of the upper-level course, as they must also perform ‘a gesture that traces, outlines or speaks about your ‘erotic self(s)’, according to the course syllabus.
A disgusted mother has spoken out against the requirement on local ABC News affiliate, KGTV, after her daughter told her of the final exam. The mother insists that the requirement is not made clear at the start of the course, and called it a ‘perversion’.
She added that the exam – during which all the students and the male professor strip unclad in a candlelit classroom – made her ‘sick to her stomach’. But professor Ricardo Dominguez insists that he has not had any complaints in the 11 years he has taught the course.
‘It’s the standard canvas for performance art and body art,’ Dominguez told local ABC News affiliate KGTV.
‘It is all very controlled… If they are uncomfortable with this gesture, they should not take the class.’
According to the course description on the faculty website, students ‘use autobiography, dream, confession, fantasy or other means to invent one’s self in a new way, or to evoke the variety of selves in our imagination’. It continues:
‘The course experiments with an explores the rich possibilities available to the contemporary artist in his or her own persona’.
But Dominguez is not a stranger to outrage. He has previously been involved in a series of political projects, according to his biography on the department website, one of which saw him investigated by Congress.
The government-funded project – called the ‘Transborder Immigrant Tool’ – involved handing out mobile phones to prospective illegal immigrants, with instructions of how to cross the US-Mexico border. The aim of the project, according to Dominguez’s website – was to use poetry to ‘dissolve’ the border.