Expressing menstruation in art…
The image to the right portrays menstruation as a disability. Its symbolism is explained here: “The huge nose in this picture is distortional and phallic. It lends to the fairly ironic but poignant notion that the subject’s menstruation (femininity) actually leads to her feeling like a monstrous, less-than-woman creature. This use of a phallic symbol to connote an absence of femininity is relevant to the idea that femininity and masculinity only exist as a struggle to be the other’s polar opposite. The sagging lines on her face, the drooping of her breasts, her baldness, large ears and rounded stomach all are contrary to what society finds ideally femininely beautiful. With this challenge to conventional beauty, the image of the subject as some sort of freak is driven in further. In this way this painting becomes less about menstruation/ femininity as a disability within itself, but within the society we live in.”
The above painting is Judy Chicago‘s controversial 1971 photolithograph, depicting a bloody tampon and a menstruating woman. Chicago’s image was one of the first pieces in which a tampon was depicted in art.
The above photograph by Jessica Chow was part of a May 2010 display at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Ms Chow displays used tampons to demonstrate the pedestrian-ness of periods and menstrual bleeding. Her work was covered up, after the dean of school assessed the work as “too shocking” for viewers. Covering up the photo changed the message of Chow’s photo and suggested that there is something shameful about the picture.
In the above picture, a red pixie is used to symbolize the woman’s period (it is the alternative to a human foetus).
The above is a piece by Vanessa Tiegs. Vanessa’s Menstrala have appeared in a number of academic journals throughout the world since 2003, as well as several San Francisco art galleries, and an experimental exhibit onboard the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk. Her Menstrala have already been featured in five international film productions.
The above piece is by Bechabesna
I love the above piece. Unfortunately I can’t remember who the piece is by & I don’t have a link to the artist’s website etc. Let me know if you know!