Erotica, the art of pleasure. For some, this is redundant; for others, a contradiction. Erotica as a genre of fine art has had its misunderstandings and its champions. Well-regarded fine artists often published such work under pseudonyms, or kept it to themselves. Western audiences avidly collected traditional Asian erotic prints, but compartmentalized them as being somehow segregated from “real” fine and modern art. But in our increasingly boundary-blurring, sexually progressive, visually voracious world, the rigidity of such definitions melts away like edible body butter. This exhibition curated by Delia Cabral, features photography, painting, sculpture, mixed media, video and an opening-night dance performance to blur those boundaries further. For example: Michael Bernard has shot some of Victoria's Secret's best ads — but these abstracted depictions of the female body look more like Ansel Adams landscapes than lingerie; Esther Gamez draws on pages ripped from books like bodices, creating a cerebral narrative of lust; Maya Mercer goes gender-bending to reveal a photogenic, hipster tragicomedy as lovely as Romantic paintings; and Angela Loveday makes the art-historical heritage explicit, setting her tableaux in Baroque Italy. Polina Perl uses clay to evoke the human body. Tea Falco, A. de Lellis and A. Marchese collaborate on a series of photographic optical illusions that play with our, um, minds. The show is co-curated by Anna Dusi. ADC Contemporary & Building Bridges International Art Exchange, Bergamot Station Arts Center, 2525 Michigan Ave., F2, Santa Monica; Sat., Dec. 8, 6-9 p.m.; exhibit runs Tues.-Fri., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat., noon-6:30 p.m.; thru Jan. 15; free. (310) 770-1961,

Tuesdays-Saturdays. Starts: Dec. 8. Continues through Jan. 15, 2012

LA Weekly