A new book from the genius Margaret Atwood is always news. The author of The Handmaid’s Tale and The Blind Assassin has legions of readers around the world. But when her next book is published, most of them will be dead. That’s because Atwood has written a novel but won’t be publishing it until 2114 — 100 years from now.
It’s not some bizarre posthumous publishing wish, a la J.D. Salinger. Atwood is the first author to contribute a novel to “Future Library,” an art project that collects the texts of 100 books which will not be published until 100 years in the future. Keep reading »
Ever wonder what happens to all the condoms that fail the quality control test? Artist and social activist Adriana Bertini crafts gowns out of them. Bertini’s Condom Couture project was created to raise awareness about safe sex and STI prevention. Using dyed defective and expired condoms, she puts together dresses that aim to get people talking about safe sex, though the dresses are so immaculate that it’s sometimes easy to forget what they’re made of! She’s also been known to weave condoms into images, like those of AIDS victims or activists. Bertini also teaches students how to create these dresses on their own, which provides an avenue to talk to them about safer sex. Bertini’s amazing handiwork has been shown in exhibitions at the United Nations and the International AIDS conference. They’ve even been featured in runway shows. [The Gloss] [Image via Condom Couture/Facebook]
British student/artist Eleanor Beth Haswell, 18, made the anatomically correct underthings as part of her senior high school project called “Why Are You So Afraid Of Your Own Anatomy,” about the ways in which women are scared and uncomfortable with their own bodies. But as some of the reaction to the underwear, which labels the various parts of the vulva and vagina, has, uh, underscored, women are not the only ones who can be squicky about their anatomy. “Laughable,” complained one (male) Twitter user. “Something of a buzzkill,” wrote another. And of course, “I just can’t.” Yeah, I bet you can’t, dude. Sadly, this bra and underwear set isn’t available for purchase, otherwise they’d be at the top of my panty drawer, ready to be pulled out the next time someone needed a lesson in female anatomy. (See a few more shots after the jump!) [Buzzfeed] Keep reading »
Today in bizarre: a Japanese artist has been arrested for obscenity after allegedly emailing data that would be used to make 3-D prints of her vagina. Megumi Igarashi works under the name Rokude Nashiko, which translates to something along the lines of “bastard kid,” and a major goal of her work is to make the female body less of a taboo topic. She’s been known to mold all kinds of materials into the shape of genitalia because, according to her, the vagina is hidden away in Japanese society. Keep reading »
I made a special trip to New York last weekend to visit Kara Walker’s A Subtlety at the Domino factory during its last weekend. It was worth it. It was worth the four 90-degree days with no air conditioning in a hostel, it was worth the plane fare despite my general brokeness, and it was worth the syrup that got caked on the hem of my dress. The floor of the factory had flooded a little the night before I went, so the bases of the sugar sculptures had eroded; some of the figures that had already started to break down were melting into pools of syrup that looked like blood, and some of the figures held baskets full of hardened sugar-water.
Beyond the colonial critique that the installation waged, what struck me the most was the way that the viewers had sensationalized the Sugar Baby’s naked body, taking unintentionally macabre smiling selfies in front of her breasts or exposed vagina. And although this artwork has the most to do with the exploitation of black women’s bodies, the feeling that shocked me, as a viewer, into just total heartbreak for this woman was that this is what I feel like every time I get catcalled: a body that’s been unwillingly made into a sideshow, a thing to consume and reduce, vulnerable and exposed. In other words, it was a massively effective work of art.
But you missed it! And I know that you missed it because every single friend I met with during my visit said “Oh yeah! I’ve been meaning to go see it.” But by then it was too late. I’m so sorry, guys. However! There’s another exhibit in New York that I have to exhort you to see to soothe your lady-art cravings… Keep reading »
The image of Nigella Lawson with her then-husband’s hands around her throat is seared into my memory. If you remember, back in 2013, Lawson and businessman/art gallery owner Charles Saatchi were seated in a London restaurant, arguing, when he placed his hands around her neck as if to choke her. A photographer happened to catch the incident, which went on for close to 30 minutes, as Lawson cried. The fact that it was caught on camera was a rare and disturbing reminder of the ubiquity of domestic violence, even among the wealthy and powerful.
So what are we to think then, exactly, when several artists have created artwork depicting Nigella Lawson being strangled and posted it on Saatchi’s web site? Keep reading »