Selling Sex. Ideas about exhibition

Author Barbara Maliukaitė

Selling sex’ is a chal­len­ging, nev­er­the­less philo­soph­ical head­ing of the exhib­i­tion by 25 women artists in SHOW STUDIO loc­ated at 1 — 9 Bruton Place, London. Installations and paint­ings dis­play women’s per­spect­ive of another women, sex and nud­ity. Undoubtedly, pieces are more sens­it­ive, vul­ner­able and erotic and more… leav­ing audi­ence read­ing between the lines. However, the fact that the exhib­i­tion is being eval­u­ated by a female her­self might leave one tent­at­ive about whether I have the com­pet­ency. And to plead guilty, I do pos­sess petite, feminist-​like vein. The fact, that no men fig­ure is found in the pieces, leaves that mod­est blood ves­sel of mine’s pulsat­ing. That’s a com­mon sense, how­ever, that woman vis‘-a-vis´ a woman can­not embrace male coun­ter­parts in the pic­ture. Can the situ­ation be one of those so called ‘gender wars’? Even if the answer for the ques­tion is of a neg­at­ive or pos­it­ive man­ner, the fact that the artists cre­ated works to dis­play inequal­ity that still exists in the world of art is a piece of evidence.

To illus­trate the situ­ation util­iz­ing fig­ures that are trus­ted as facts become handy. Only 8% of the work exhib­ited at the Museum of Modern Art is cre­ated by the female gender, Tate’s female hold­ings amount to an inad­equate 15% and the main dessert is Louvre with no female artists in their col­lec­tion of 35,000 art­works. With fem­in­istic fash­ion female artists have star­ted the con­ver­sa­tion, not essen­tially the battle. That is clear.

The rela­tion­ship with female prot­ag­on­ists and their objet d’art dif­fers. For instance, Liz Cohen (‘BODY WORK Grinder’) took 12 pic­tures (some­thing like a cal­en­dar for men) and posed in them her­self with the car she brought back and recon­struc­ted from America.

Cortney Andrews (‘Arms Bend’) takes pic­tures of a nar­rat­ive that hap­pens within her fam­ily or people close to her. However, bruised woman in the pic­ture of hers leaves view­ers ques­tion­ing the cause of it. C. Andrews work sure is mystical…

Betony Vernon (‘Urn Anal dila­tion Diletto kit’) cre­ated a kit for pleas­ures that is aes­thet­ic­ally pleas­ant and not vul­gar. ‘Something that women would like to play with.’ Well… that’s accord­ing to her, but let’s not quar­rel about the taste, shall we?

Atsuko Kudo’s hand­made out­fit called ’Armour for Prostitutes’ is made of mater­i­als that make indi­vidu­als engage into sym­bolic link­ing. Focal fab­ric of the cloth­ing is leather and accord­ing to the grapev­ine and by hook or by crook it very well reacts with the filthi­ness. Only this time, extraordin­ary, minute details grant princess-​like sen­sa­tion to the attire. This was achieved with noth­ing but a hard work, so no won­der that the designer have worked for Lady Gaga and other emin­ent figures.

This is just a small por­tion of the amaz­ing works that women have done. Definitely, exhib­i­tion caused some com­mo­tion, since there are emin­ent people involved in it, like Victoria Secret’s model in the visual install­a­tion, Atsuko Kudo and many other cel­eb­rated fig­ures. Overall, the exhib­i­tion is not about pick­ing the fronts or start­ing wars, it is about woman tak­ing action and high­light­ing exist­ing issues.

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