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Some Nude College Girls Filmed Themselves Making Out In The Columbia Library, For Art

By / 02.03.14

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Some college feminists challenged the patriarchy recently by filming themselves cavorting naked in Columbia University’s Butler Library, for an artsy think-piece about sorority initiation called “Initiatiøn.” It’s always a good day when I get to type both “naked college girls” and “my Ivy League alma mater.” (*fluffs ascot, fluffs boner*)

[Apologies, the site hosting the video crashed while I was writing this (gee, I wonder why), but Gawker still has it]

It’s a short film, but it really has everything – non-traditional gender roles, non-traditional hair colors, naked girls pouring stuff on themselves, opera music, people in nightgowns running down deserted hallways, a bored-looking girl listlessly banging a rubber chicken against cement walls – it plays like one of Stefon’s hottest new nightclubs. The shots are well-composed, but if I had one criticism, it would be that there weren’t nearly enough “circle the fat” scenes for a sorority initiation film.

According to the video description:

Initiation explores the rituals of American Ivy League secret societies, to the point of hysteria, highlighting our culture’s perception of female desire.

Here’s some more, from IvyGate:

The film was created by Slutever provocateur Karley Sciortino and Coco Young, an artist and art history major at Columbia. Also featured in the video is Sara Grace Powell, a senior at Barnard College and a curator for Columbia’s Postcrypt art gallery.

Art history majors gonna art, yo.

Young told Ivygate that Sciortino approached her about doing a collaboration and they came up with the idea for this video. They filmed it very quickly and discreetly on a Saturday night in November. A few students were around, and they explained that they were filming a video, but New York is such an odd place that apparently no one was really fazed. They put up a tarp to block some of the weirder parts of filming. And yes, to address concerns, they did clean everything up before they left.

While Young has “never experienced a sorority or fraternity,” she is intrigued by them, and this video is a projection of that fascination. Moreover, of course, it is a feminist statement, meant to “showcase the ultimate hysteria state,” and speak to the stigmatization and fetishization of women.

This fetishization is particularly prevalent at Columbia, Young explained. “You know—as a girl—there’s definitely a weird gender tension,” she told me. It’s a fair point: the unclear relationship between Columbia and Barnard leads to confusion and the general dismissal of any woman on campus—from some idiot boys’ (and dumbass girls’) perspective, Barnard is just a pool of slutty girls to pick from. Furthermore, Young continued, Butler Library is particularly emblematic of the male-centricity at Columbia; there are, for example, only male authors’ names on the facade of the building, a historic point of protest. She was also excited about “transcending the everyday space” of the library, “a space we all take for granted.”

I too occasionally had trouble with the male-centricity of Columbia, where I was one of four men in my 23-person non-fiction MFA program. It was an issue I explored by letting James Franco throw eggs at my crotch in the basement of Miller Theater while we read New Yorker cartoons aloud in full dicknose regalia. But you guys get it, you understand art.

God, I miss college.

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TOPICSART
TAGSART SCHOOLCOCO YOUNGColumbia UniversityFEMINISMshort films

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