In Outside the Castle (2019), Atmus the deer sits on a lawn outside Disney’s Cinderella Castle. Atmus is a fur-suit. The person inside is Tommy Bruce. The lawn is artificial. And the castle is an image. Bruce is a furry. He goes to conventions, participates in online discussions, and documents the community. His also takes self-portraits in his fur-suit.
Matthew Irwin is a PhD candidate in American studies at the University of New Mexico. His areas of expertise include visual culture, Indigenous feminism, and racialized criminalization. Also an art critic and journalist, his essays and reviews have appeared in numerous publications such as Hyperallergic, frieze, ccareviews, Glasstire, Texas Observer, adobeairstream, and Santa Fe Reporter. Matthew is a two-time NEA Arts Journalism fellow and a two-time finalist for the Warhol Foundation/Creative Capital Arts Writers Grant.
Looking at a torn vagina in Judy Chicago’s Creation of the World: Needlepoint 1 (1985), I remember watching my ex-partner give birth to both of our boys at home. She had a tear that had to be sewn. I watched, and that is the extent of my experience with childbirth. I know, however, that men—which I’ll define as cis-gendered, penis-possessing humans—have a lot of opinions about what goes in and out of vaginas…
Nature’s Nation: American Art and Environment, which catalogues an exhibition that opened last fall at Princeton University Art Museum, proposes a reorientation for American art history around ecology and environmental history.