"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's work physically addresses Western masculine narratives and interrogates key constructs of gender. Having served a tour in the U.S. Marine Corps, earned a collegiate athletic scholarship, and survived a battle with testicular cancer, Barrett employs a phenomenological lens for analyzing masculinity and its historical constructs. His work reconsiders social structures and how they empower and disempower by grounding itself in influential theories of Donna Haraway (cyborg theory), Yi Fu Tuan (space and place) and Martin Heidegger (being and time).
Barrett provides a behind-the-scenes look into his reinvestigation around five areas of masculinity, where he simultaneously overlaps the inherent physical nature of the body and the ephemeral needs within space. The five areas under investigation challenge cycles, social constructs, and reveal previously missed, invisible, and silenced perspectives around what it means to be human and what function gender identification serves.
1. Physical force and control
2. Work and occupational achievement
Barrett currently teaches Performance Art History at UNLV and enjoys his position as a Ph.D. candidate (ABD) at the University of Arizona. Additional degrees include an M.F.A. in Contemporary Sculpture and a B.S. in Kinesiology. He has taught and performed extensively outside of the United States, including Austria, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, and Switzerland.
Selected solo and group exhibitions include:
The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York City; San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery; Psi 19 - Stanford University; Berkeley Art Center; Tucson Museum of Art; Quartair Initiatives for the Arts, Den Hauge, Netherlands; Scope International, Basel, Switzerland; Galeria Michaela Stock, DOPUST 2016 – Vienna, Austria; Surface Gallery, U.K.; SOMArts, San Francisco; Las Vegas Contemporary Arts Center; Krowswork, Oakland; Raczej Galeria, Poznan, Poland; Hole of Fame Gallery, Dresden, Germany; Galerie Koppelmann Kunstwerk Nippes, KulturBunker, Cologne, Germany; Kulturzentrum Faust, Hanover, Germany; Studio: Ilka Theurich, Hanover, Germany; Kunstpavillon Burgbrohl, Germany; Kaskadenkondensator, Basel, Switzerland; and many more...