“Glut and Guzzle” sparks controversy

Explicit art exhibit inspires conversation across campus

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Photo by photo editor, Maddie Ciliento '25.

When Muhlenberg students returned to campus and stepped foot inside the Center for the Arts Galleria (CA) for the first time this year, attention was immediately drawn to “Glut and Guzzle,” the CA’s latest art exhibition displayed openly in the Galleria outside of the Empie Theatre.  

Made by American artist Ashe Kaye, “Glut and Guzzle” is a multidisciplinary art exhibit that explores the intersection of gender, sexuality and indulgence through the lens of Kaye’s childhood in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The pieces are bright and bold, three-dimensional and highly suggestive. The description of the exhibit displayed alongside it calls it “simultaneously eye-catching and grotesque… [it] offers a multisensory, visceral experience.”

Being so different from previous exhibitions in the Galleria, the conversation of “Glut and Guzzle” spread quickly across campus, sparking conversations and controversy. 

“It’s interesting, you know, I’m glad it’s there. It’s fun to have something in that space, especially something that’s so out of the ordinary for what you’d expect to see in a college environment… I think if it’s going to be anywhere, I’m glad that it’s in that spot,” said Ian Graybill ‘26. The Galleria receives a lot of foot traffic every day and is one of the most prominent places for art to be exhibited on campus, which is part of the reason so many people have seen it. Comparatively, art displayed in the Martin Art Gallery is located behind doors and is out of sight to most students.

“I think that this is the first exhibit in this space that has actually started conversation, and this is the first exhibit where people are actually looking at the work and reading the text and the description about the author. It’s controversial but also this is the only time that anything in this space is getting recognition as much as it is,” remarked Olivia Fornasieri ‘24, in a similar vein to Graybill. 

“I think there’s value to be found in all art forms and in all media”

Steven Belloise ’25

Certain pieces within the exhibition have sparked more conversation than others. Perhaps the most controversial has been the fabric sculpture depicting nipples placed in the corner of the Galleria. “The nipple pile is something else,” said Zoe Chasinoff, ‘26.

“In the best way possible, it’s gross. It’s not gross like ‘ew, I don’t want this here,’ it’s like it makes me want to look at it more, but it’s gross and weird. But I’m not saying these as negative terms.” Chasinoff continued.

“I think there’s value to be found in all art forms and in all media. Most people’s initial reaction is like ‘Oh wow! There’s a lot of body parts there!’ but I think everything is art and everything has a meaning after you think about it for a while… My friends have been like ‘oh ew, there’s nipples sitting on the floor over there’ but the human body is also a work of art. There’s been plenty of depictions, like Greek statues for example, have full frontal and back nudity too. I think it’s something worth considering, not being shut down,” reflected Steven Belloise ‘25.

“I think it was such a bold choice of them to put this here during freshman orientation. Bold, not in a bad or a good way, but I’m just saying that that’s so Muhlenberg for them to throw the freshman in and say ‘here’s this exhibit, look at this. This is the first time you’re seeing this school, look at this exhibit,’” continued Fornasieri. During orientation, there were clusters of balloons lined up from the entrance of the CA to Empie, not allowing for the exhibit to be fully visible. 

“Glut and Guzzle” will be displayed in the Galleria until Nov. 10 for anyone to form their own opinions. On Sep. 20, Kaye will visit Muhlenberg for the official artist talk and opening reception.

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