Images by Alison Wynn
A month or so ago I did a little art project/ performance with an incredible Iranian artist friend Nooshin Rostami. The performance was at FLUX FACTORY art gallery in Long Island City, NY. The entire project was Nooshin's brainchild and I was just a last minute participant as she requested I be. I didn't hesitate at all when asked if I would give her a Brazilian wax in public, as the piece and topic appealed to me and it was my kinda work anyway. But it took me a while to muster up the courage to put the project up here. I don't exactly know why. Maybe I have still not yet freed my mind of "what people think of me". One step at a time. I am getting there. So, here it is.
I am going to just quote Nooshin here as she explains her project:
* Postage stamp, something to write home about [Check out the entire performance here]
* Performance at Flux Factory
* Visible pubic hair on women is widely culturally disapproved of, considered to be embarrassing, and so is often times removed. However, some people also remove pubic hair that is not exposed, for aesthetic or other sexual reasons. It is a process that is mostly done in private spaces, like a back room in a beauty saloon. The end result is thought to seem more appealing while in a public space like a beach, swimming pool, or inside the bedroom. “Postage stamp, something to write home about” is one of the popular “styles” of Brazilian epilation of women’s pubic hair. “Brazilian waxing” is more controversial than other types of waxing because it includes the epilation of the pubic hair around the woman’s labia. This process is done with warm wax and can be a physically painful experience during and after the act. There are also health risks involved if it is not done properly, mainly the risk of infection if the procedure is done on a person with a weakened immune system. During this public waxing performance between myself and Prutha Raithatha, another artist whom I hired, the audience was able to walk around, stand, sit comfortably, and enjoy refreshments. By setting up an unnerving scene of what is seemingly torture, the spectacle is revealing the process of what we conventionally see as “beauty”.By providing the audience with convenient conditions to view an agonizing performance I aim to remind them of how we numb ourselves to something brutal in order to fit in the values of our society.
I love doing these art projects. Anything with a purpose really. Anything that makes me think. Your thoughts?