Melbourne Fringe 2013

101 Vagina Book

0 Comments 26 September 2013

This exhibition, in the words of its creators, “breaks down the taboo around vaginas and body-image shame”, and more generally to celebrate the diversity of bodies and stories from women.

It can feel strange to see disembodied parts of women, anonymous and intimate at the same time. Vaginas presented in black and white photographs, pieces of women, are more commonly seen as the macabre fodder of post mortem photography in coroner and murder mystery television shows. Here they are accompanied with stories, giving each woman the voice denied to her when she is little more than a central puzzle in a television narrative.

The images sit well in their exhibition space, and the images are arresting. Most engaging are the stories, some of which are more personal than the others. The photographs are crisp, and people wander amoung them reading and viewing images at leisure.

The book itself is beautifully presented in serene white and subdued fonts. In these pages, the pictures exist together as a cohesive narrative. In exhibition it is harder to read each story carefully, there is a tendency to let your eyes slide past the pages. Oddly, taking in all of the images at once rather than page by page highlights the sameness of the women, rather than the differences. The variations between bodies seems more alike than when focussing on them page by page.

This exhibition sits nicely amoungst other counterparts such as The Great Wall of Vagina (Jamie McCartney), Colour Me Dead (Philip Brophy), Wall of Vagina (Kembra Pfahler) or C*nt Paintings (Betty Tompkins), with the addition of each woman’s story assisting us to associate our own bodies with that of the women on display.

See the Melbourne Fringe Guide for details.

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