Zhiliang Zhao: Sanitized Bodies

On view Apr 8 - 18
Opening: Apr 11, 5pm

Lindhurst Gallery
Watt Hall

Gallery hours: 8:30am - 5pm


“Sanitized Bodies” begins with a familiar scene – the public restroom. Seemingly a utilitarian site for basic physiological needs, the restroom is a charged environment for queer bodies. Homoeroticism seems implicit, even promoted, by its most essential architectural qualities, yet simultaneously policed and sanitized. Queer bodies are as aroused as they are ridden with anxiety.

Through a series of photographs, sculptures, and film, artist Zhiliang Zhao explores a queer psyche as bodies transgress social and personal boundaries in the context of the public restroom. By performing amorous configurations in juxtaposition to a toilet, he positions himself at the center of multiple dialectics: between attraction and compulsion, subjectification and objectification, personification and the denial of queer identity. Invoking the works of Foucault, Bentham, and Barthes, the exhibition attempts to offer an intimate position on the way in which bodies cautiously cruise through an otherwise innocuous space.

Zhiliang Zhao (b. 1996) was born and raised in Shenzhen, China. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles. “Sanitized Bodies” is supported by Macomber Travel Grant.


Image: Zhiliang Zhao, “Study (Sanitized Bodies)”. RC Print in Water. (2018)