After serving a tour in the U.S. Marine Corps, receiving a collegiate athletic scholarship, and surviving a battle with testicular cancer, Michael Barrett challenges masculinity as a historical construct through a feminist post-humanistic lens.
For over fifteen years, Barrett has immersed himself in a grueling effort at developing masculine narratives that interrogate key areas of gender. As an A/R/Tographer, Barrett reinterprets how masculinity empowers and disempowers through influential theories and concepts of scholars and authors, such as Susan Sontag (feminine as masculine/masculine as feminine), Stephanie Springgay (skin and cloth), and Donna Harraway (Cyborg Manifesto). With the body, space, and time, Barrett's work ruptures five areas of masculinity and questions cycles of physicality, gender, and identity by unveiling previously missed, invisible, and silenced perspectives on how society could broaden what it means to be masculine and what function masculinity serves.
1. physical force and control
2. work and occupational achievement
Barrett currently enjoys his position as a Ph.D. student and assistant instructor in the Art and Visual Culture Education Department, at the University of Arizona. He holds an M.F.A. in contemporary sculpture and has performed extensively around the world, including Austria, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland and across the United States. Barrett's selected solo and group exhibitions include the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts - New York City, the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, Berkeley Art Center, Scope International - Basel, Switzerland, Psi 19 - Stanford University, Galeria Michaela Stock, DOPUST 2016 - Vienna, Surface Gallery - U.K., SOMArts - San Francisco, Las Vegas Contemporary Arts Center, Krowswork - Oakland, Raczej Galeria - Poznan, Poland, Hole of Fame Gallery - Dresden, Germany, and the Tucson Museum of Art.
Las Vegas Weekly describes Barrett’s work as:
"A brilliant manifestation for the former college football player and U.S. Marine who spent his entire life amid alpha males until cancer challenged his proverbial superman complex and forced him to reexamine life."