Fed up with the shame surrounding their periods, the Spanish performance collective Sangre Menstrual took over the public streets in sets of white pants stained with menstrual blood. This performance artwork was politically motivated; as the group writes in their “Manifesto for the Visibility of the Period,” the taboo surrounding menstruation serves to oppress women and reinforce patriarchal systems.
By making a public display of their shedding uterine linings, the group hopes to reclaim the female body and free normal bodily functions from shame and judgement. Since the earliest books of the bible and before, menstruation has been viewed as unclean, and often women have even been kept separate from men during their periods. Sangre Menstrual, whose name literally translates to “menstrual blood,” intends to change all that. In their manifesto, the group of women write, “I stain [my pants], and it doesn’t make me sick. I stain [my pants] and I don’t find it disgusting.”
The implications of Sangre Menstrual’s street performance extend beyond menstruation and into larger debates surrounding reproduction and the female body. Like the feminist artist Barbara Kruger and her legendary print “Your Body Is A Battlefield,” the blood-stained performance aims to present the body as a political act of defiance. The manifesto states, “the visibility of the period [is meant] to increase the visibility of the body, as political space.” Do patriarchal, sexist institutions persist in part because of the repulsion with which we treat menstruation? Is this work of art a groundbreaking innovation or a silly shock tactic? (via BUST)
The Burqa, full-body cover up worn primarily by Islamic women of faith, has been subject of much controversy for decades, especially in Western societies. Many say that the garment oppresses women, leaving them astray and without a voice in a world were men dominate them.
Selina Roman‘s Burqa Project takes the Burqa and turns its literal meaning around through the medium of photography and visual composition in order to challenge the viewer’s mainstream knowledge of it.
Roman, a former reporter, hopes to offer her audience a different view point, a new way of seeing, she comments on her artist statement.
Although the Burqa is shrouded in religious significance, I take it out of this context in an attempt to explore these other attributes. Instead of showcasing it as an oppressive garment, I place the Burqa in idyllic Florida landscapes to let it float and billow. In turn, it becomes an ephemeral and weightless object removed from its politicized context.
Apart from Roman’s obvious emphasis on the beauty and femininity that these garments project, she also wants to shed light on the qualities that we often forget to acknowledge. There are many interesting characteristics that the Burqa provides to any that wears it- i.e anonymity, security, and power.
Influenced by 21st. century technology like video games, Google earth, Internet, and You-tube, Kenneth Burris drawings become an expression of isolation and sporadic: envisioning apocalyptic tableaux with a future of decadence and decay.
Ana de Orbegoso‘s series of photographes, titled The Invisible Wall, is a way of visually depicting personal prejudices. The photographs are a series of portraits each obscured by a pair of hands, as if the subject were hiding their face. Underneath the hands, though, a face subtly appears. Obviously, the series’ title refers to a figurative wall, a social one. Of these ‘walls’ she says:
“Behind our individual walls we each keep hidden our prejudices, our preconceptions, our highest aspirations. Our individual walls serve to protect us by enabling us to always hold something back, an edge between what is hidden and what is revealed.”
Okay, I like word art. Also, I like cookies. Nothing like a fresh batch of warm cookies. Now imagine Helvetica font speeding down the street, crashing head-on into unsuspecting Sugar Cookie – Beverly Hsu knows the result. You can find out after the jump!
At first glance I thought these clever byomorphic and hybrid characters by Overunder were painted directly on the wall but upon closer inspection I realized that these pieces were painted in the artists studio with spray paint on paper and then cut out as giant posters. Although this isn’t a completely unique idea Overunder does a great job of creating a Trompe-l’œil effect with this technique giving his pieces a spontaneous feel while still being labored over and well planned in the comfort of his studio. I’ve posted some images of his work in a gallery setting after the jump so you can see how they are cut.