Art classes are about pushing boundaries and creating forums for exploration, but one professor at the University of California, San Diego has taken this approach too far. For a visual arts course called Performing the Self, Prof. Ricardo Dominguez requires his students to get completely naked, sit in a candlelit room, and perform an "erotic gesture" to complete his final exam. Refuse to bare it all with your peers? Then you fail the class. Oh, and the professor is in the nude, too.
Any university who allows this educational orgy to go down is bound to get calls from outraged parents, but Prof. Dominguez says he's been getting naked with his students for 11 years, and has never heard a complaint. That is, until one disgusted mother called local ABC News affiliate KGTV to complain. "It's just wrong. This is a memory that my daughter is going to carry with her for the rest of her life," she said of the class. "It makes me sick to my stomach."
This is the course description for Prof. Dominguez's class: "Using autobiography, dream, confession, fantasy, or other means to invent one’s self in a new way, or to evoke the variety of selves in our imagination, the course experiments with and explores the rich possibilities available to the contemporary artist in his or her own persona." We're assuming that "other means" is where the naked part comes in.
Prof. Dominguez told KGTV, "It's a standard canvas for performance art and body art." Previously, he co-founded The Electronic Disturbance Theater, which is a group that developed virtual sit-in technologies in Mexico. Their most recent project involved developing a GPS cellphone that helped immigrants cross the US/Mexico border, a project that sparked the US Congress to investigate him.
On Rate My Professor, Prof. Dominguez's reviews are mostly positive, with a 4.1/5 rating. Many students applauded Performing the Self for pushing them to think differently. Others commented on the class's inappropriate content, but no one mentioned having to get naked:
And one student refuted previous claims (which are not online and have likely been removed) that Prof. Dominguez sleeps with his female students. This dude can't get creepier.