Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: Feminist Art Base: Mary Coble



Mary Coble. Aversion, 2007.

Aversion was a live performance piece performance that took place at Conner Contemporary Art in Washington, DC in 2007. In this performance piece the artist attached electrodes to her arm and had herself shocked, with an electric shock device, to recreate the severe effects of electric shock aversion therapy that was once commonly used to “cure” homosexuality. Patients were subjected to repeated sessions during which they were shown a series of erotic images. Where as opposite-sex images elicited no negative stimulation, shock was administered in conjunction with same-sex images. The performance lasted thirty minutes, which was the length of an actual shock therapy session. The artist wanted to not only call attention to a practice that many did not even know existed. The piece also points to continued social pressures towards conformity, which perpetuates the advocacy of reorientation therapy for homosexuals by extremist organizations today.


shock therapy, Washington DC, USA, Conner Contemporary Art, slides, projections, homosexuality, electrodes, shock, reorientation therapy, aversion therapy, endurance, body art

Untitled 1 (from Note to Self)Untitled 3 (from Note to Self)Binding Ritual, Daily Routine AversionSessionsBlood ScriptBlood Script

Washington, DC


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