Composing Beauty: Mapplethorpe’s Quest for Perfection

Alistair Butler, 1980 © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

*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?






Location: BAM Fisher

321 Ashland Place Brooklyn, NY 11217

The BAM Fisher Hillman Studio is a large performance and event space in BAM Fisher.




Interdisciplinary Learning with the Best Professors


Think Olio is not about learning a new skill or adding credentials to your resume. It is about getting together with other people and expanding our worldview. It exists as a conduit for fruitful discussions, a dissent from the regurgitation of facts, and an embrace of new perspectives.


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Other upcoming Olios


Oct 15

Olio Seminar | Kafka will Ruin Your Life and Make You Laugh About it

Taught by Geoff Klock
7:30 p.m. at Strong Rope Brewery

Sign Up - $60

Oct 21

Attraction or Fetish? Exploring Racial Trends in Dating

Taught by Kim Nguyen
7:30 p.m. at Living Room

Sign Up - $15

Oct 22

The Fear of Leisure

Taught by Jeanne Proust
7:30 p.m. at Threes Brewing // Greenpoint

Sign Up - $15

Oct 23

Eros: The Geometry of Desire

Taught by Jamie Warren
7:30 p.m. at Moon Rise Studio

Sign Up - $15

Oct 27

Olio Breakfast Club | Frankenstein: Who is the Monster?

Taught by Patricia Kim
1 p.m. at Threes Brewing // Greenpoint

Sign Up - $15

Oct 30

Olio Workshop | Modern Anxiety and Ancient Healing Arts

Taught by Darryl Aiken-Afam
7:30 p.m. at St John's Episcopal Church

Sign Up - $125

Nov 4

Olio Fiction Workshop | Challenging the Received Boundaries of Genre

Taught by Kat Rejsek
7 p.m. at Little Roy // Flatbush

Sign Up - $175

Nov 15

Do You Have Kids? The Politics of Motherhood

Taught by Ifeoma Ike
7:30 p.m. at The William Vale Hotel

Sign Up - $15

Nov 22

Anti-Education

Taught by Vishwa Adluri
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20


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