Composing Beauty: Mapplethorpe’s Quest for Perfection

Jeanne Proust at BAM Fisher

Wed, May 29 at 7 p.m.   |   90 minutes

In this Olio, Jeanne Proust engages participants in an expansive conversation about Robert Mapplethorpe’s work, through the lens of aesthetics and the famed photographer’s quest for perfect beauty.

*Tickets to this Olio are highly limited and are being sold on the BAM website. RSVP here

Co-presented by BAM and Think Olio
Led by Jeanne Proust

“I am obsessed with beauty. I want everything to be perfect.”
—Robert Mapplethorpe

In this Olio, Jeanne Proust engages participants in an expansive conversation about Robert Mapplethorpe’s work, through the lens of aesthetics and the famed photographer’s quest for perfect beauty. In thinking about Mapplethorpe’s carefully composed photographs of provocative subjects, can we engage with beauty solely through the aesthetic qualities of the representation itself? Or is our appreciation of beauty inherently linked to the moral connotations of the subject matter? Proust also brings Mapplethorpe’s work into dialogue with French poet Baudelaire, who helped redefine our notion of beauty and what can be considered beautiful. Is beauty within the subject matter or within the spectator?



Teacher: Jeanne Proust

Jeanne Proust's research focuses on Théodule Ribot’s Diseases of the Will, both in philosophical and psychological perspectives. While teaching at different universities here in New York, Jeanne is advocating for a widening of philosophical education beyond the academic frontiers.


Venue: BAM Fisher

What is Think Olio?


Think Olio is here to put the liberation back into the liberal arts.

Classically, the liberal arts, were the education considered essential for a free person to take an active part in civic life. To counter a humanities that has been institutionalized and dehumanized we infuse critical thinking, openness, playfulness, and compassion into our learning experience.

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Liaisons Host an Olio

Olio: A miscellaneous collection of art and literature.