Media Release: 2 July 2013
101 Vagina Book Exhibition back after police interference
The 101 Vagina Book Exhibition is coming back to Sydney in September 2013 to be part of the Sydney Fringe arts festival.
101 Vagina is about breaking down the taboo around vaginas and body image shame generally. It is also about the sharing of story and wisdom. It confronts the lies we are told about what’s normal and celebrates uniqueness and diversity.
This is particularly relevant to the growing concerns around female genital mutilation and it’s sibling, labiaplasty. The increase in labiaplasty operations sought out by women and even teenage girls has shocked many people and been the subject of much media attention.
The book (and exhibition) contains 101 black & white photos along with a message written by each woman to accompany their photo. The messages that the participating women have shared are candid and moving. It is light and profound, cheeky and deep. The audience finds itself transfixed by story after story about women’s relationship with their vaginas. This is not the kind of exhibition you forget.
Dr. Elizabeth Gordon, herself an artist, said “I’ve been to many, many gallery openings and I’ve never seen people so engaged with the work, people are actually looking at everything and reading everything, rather than just standing around socialising. It’s addictive, once you read one you just have to keep going.”
The 101 Vagina book spent over two years in the making and only got to print after a successful Pozible crowdfunding campaign.
As might be expected it has had it’s share of controversy along the way. Before the book launch some outspoken feminists were upset about the fact that the project creator is male. Then, at the exhibition in Sydney in June, the City of Sydney council and the local police received complaints because images were visible to the public through the galleries windows. The police requested the windows be covered resulting in MX newspaper writing “Hide the vagina” on their front page (Friday 28 June 2013).
As so often happens, the only complaints have come from people who have not actually engaged with the project and read the stories. The overwhelming response to 101 Vagina is of heartfelt support and gratitude.
The 101 Vagina Book – Exhibition in the Sydney Fringe will the third time that this book will be exhibited. The first was for the book launch in Melbourne in March 2013 and the second in Sydney in June. Both were accompanied by the Festival of the Vagina which brought together a diverse range of artists, poets, musicians, educators, and politicians under the banner of removing the taboo around the vagina.
Let’s see how Sydney responds to this round of vaginal celebration.
101 Vagina Book Exhibition (Sydney Fringe)
Sydney Fringe page: http://2013.sydneyfringe.com/event/visual-arts-installation-environment/…
17-22 Sept., 12-6pm
Thursday 17 Sept. 6-9pm
Tap Gallery: 278 Palmer St Darlinghurst NSW 2010
101 Vagina website: