Monday, May 14, 2012

Postage Stamp: Art Performance

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? 


  1. okay, really. Hygiene just isn't art for me. it might be a social statement, it might be cultural, but it ain't art. I'm just not having it. But I admire that you could do it. I thought you were an architect anyway.

    1. hehe.. i love u joe...I really do! ... thanks for reading and commenting.. yes i am an architect. that's my day job...but after 6pm i am any and everything i want to be :) is too shart and i want to be soo many things..

      this was a performance. not about hygiene, but about the torture women or people in general will put them selves thru to look good. coz it surly doesn't feel good. i agree that it is hygienic to get a Brazilian wax but does it have to be waxing? can we just not trim? waxing parse as an act is highly painful. and i also feel that the human / animal body is designed in such a way that nothing in /on our body is extra or non hygienic just as it is. and even if it makes u feel better to be more hygienic by getting ride of your pubic hair, why is it soo much more common only in women to get a Brazilian? what the hell happens to men's pubic hair? why don't they wax their balls? and why isn't it expected of them to do so? not trim, wax! its a far fetched ideology but there is some unconscious subtext in the world that expects women to go thru anything to please their men. not saying that most times it isn't something that was initiated by women themselves.

      art is in the performance. it was nooshin's performance / concept which was art. there r way too many ways i can describe this as art but for now i will only leave it at, "to me art is anything that stimulates a strong emotion or feeling of any sort inside of me". the idea was to let people see how painful it really is. and is it really worth it. especially men who might not be able to ever see the act live. and see if even though we created a very comfortable environment for them by providing them with a lounge chair, food and wine, how uncomfortable it made them just looking at the act of waxing still. they couldn't be comfortable. u can see that in the expressions of some of the people in the photos above. but this is personal. u may not agree and thats fine too... we can agree to disagree :)


  2. cool!
    Dear please Vote for me on fashiolista contest- I'm on final! I'd appreciate it so much!
    MaryKapsi for TheFashionGuitar

  3. This is totally, totally beautiful, the way the cause is adressed.... art, well may be, (I dont understand art so am not one to comment) but the guts to have put this together and actually performed and voice out the concern is jawdroping-ly awesome. Again BEAUTIFUL!

  4. This is amazing. Hats off to you and your Iranian friend Miss Don't Shoe Me.

    Love, Miffalicious. []

  5. Wow! Thats crazy.. Wish someone did something like this in India!
    It would be a scandal!

  6. Addressing an extreme with an extreme... that's what I'd call this. But, who defines extreme these days?

  7. Wow so amazing, love the idea behind this!



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