Michael Barrett, Biography

"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, Ph.D. (A.B.D.) research focuses on the history of performance art and its use as a pedagogical tool. He is a former professor of performance art history who teaches and performs extensively both in and outside of the United States, including Austria, Czechia, England, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, and Switzerland.

Barrett's research looks at how Western masculine narratives address and interrogate key constructs of gender. Having served a tour in the U.S. Marine Corps, received a collegiate athletic scholarship, and survived a battle with testicular cancer, he utilizes feminist theory and new masculinities as critical lenses for analyzing American hypermasculinity and its historical constructs. His work engages social structures and how they empower and disempower.

Barrett provides a behind-the-scenes glimpse around five points of hyper-masculinity. The areas under investigation address cycles and social constructs, and acknowledge previously missed, invisible, and silenced perspectives around what it means to be human.
1. Physical force and control
2. Work and occupational achievement
3. Patriarchy
4. Outdoorsman
5. Heterosexual

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 Haag, 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; Venice International Performance Art Week 2020, Your Mother Gallery, Singapore, and many more.