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The School of Love at Bard College at Simon's Rock

  • Bard College at Simon's Rock 84 Alford Road Great Barrington, MA, 01230 United States (map)

The Hillman-Jackson Gallery

The introspective and poignant installation of painting and sculpture studies love's confusion under contemporary influences of race, religion, and pop culture. The School of Love is a reference to the painting by Correggio, depicting the intricate relationship between Venus (love), Mercury (communication), and Cupid (desire). In this dynamic body of work, Locke explores the convoluted process of learning about love in today’s society, and questions where and to whom adolescents turn when scrutiny, violence, and adult entertainment feel omnipresent, but acceptance and compassion are deficient. Locke reflects on his own complicated experience of yearning to be loved, adopting Faun, the youthful and libidinous half-goat boy, as his doppelgänger. Colorful cast heads of Faun, each named Student, are bound and hung with rope, suspended upside-down in a state of confusion, and pierced by nails in violence and martyrdom. Titles of accompanying paintings and sculpture suggest sources that influence how we learn to love, such as teachers, as in paintings titled The Apologist and The Magician, and religion, as in The Monsignor and sermon (Lot), a nod to the Biblical story of God’s destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Loaded imagery and materials highlight the challenges love faces and the lenses through which it is skewed, both past and present.