"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."
- Las Vegas Weekly
Michael Barrett immerses himself in an effort at developing masculine narratives that interrogate key areas of gender. After serving a tour in the U.S. Marine Corps, receiving a collegiate athletic scholarship, and surviving a battle with testicular cancer, Barrett utilizes a humanistic lens for rupturing contemporary masculinity as a historical construct.
As an A/R/Tographer, Barrett reinterprets masculinity and how it empowers and disempowers through influential theories and concepts of Donna Haraway (cyborg theory), Yi Fu Tuan (space and place) and Martin Heidegger (being and time). Combining the physical nature of the body, space and its relationship to societal placement, and time as having three parts (past, present, future), Barrett's work investigates five areas of masculinity and challenges cycles of gender and social constructs by unveiling previously missed, invisible, and silenced perspectives around what it means to be masculine and what function gender serves.
1. Physical force and control
2. Work and occupational achievement
Barrett currently enjoys his position as a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Art and Visual Culture Education, at the University of Arizona. He holds an M.F.A. in contemporary sculpture and has taught and performed extensively around the world, including Austria, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, and the United States.
Barrett's selected solo and group exhibitions include:
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York City; San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery; Psi 19, Stanford University; Berkeley Art Center; Quartair Initiatives for the Arts, Den Hauge; Scope International, Basel, Switzerland; Galeria Michaela Stock, DOPUST 2016, Vienna; Surface Gallery, U.K.; SOMArts, San Francisco; Grace Space, Brooklyn; Las Vegas Contemporary Arts Center; Krowswork, Oakland; Raczej Galeria, Poznan, Poland; Hole of Fame Gallery, Dresden, Germany; Tucson Museum of Art; and the KulturBunker, Cologne, Germany.