Markers of Masculinity: Phallic Representation in Moche Art

moche art 24grammataSarahh Scher Assistant Professor of Art, Upper Iowa University.

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This paper examines the male body in Moche art as a locus for the ideological construction of gender. It proposes that the male body is characterized by vitality, violence, and potency, and that an aspect of this characterization may affect the conventions for representing the phallus. These conventions specifically refer to the erect, sexually potent phallus, even when a specific phallus is not depicted as erect. This mode of representation attempt to create a fixed state out of a temporary quality, by emphasizing the eternal performance of male gender.