I was very excited to be live on TV for the first time on Channel 31!
Friday 27 September 2013
The Comic Box were doing a series of interviews of artists that were participating in the Melbourne Fringe arts festival. Normally they have a focus on theatre and performance art, but for the fringe they branch out and interview a broad range of art.
The other interviews are edited out, but the show intro and credits remain. It’s a bit kooky, but I think I got the main messages out there well enough :)
Thanks to the crew who put it together, all voluntarily !
101 Vagina has enjoyed a bit of media attention, but in spite of this there has actually been very little in the way of a serious review of either the book or exhibition.
This article by some journalism students is actually the best review I have seen to date because it actually speaks about how the writer is affected as a viewer experiencing the content. It conveys a little of the effect that the exhibition has had on so many people.
I spent almost the entire time the exhibition was on sitting there, watching and engaging with guests. The most common experience that I observed and that people shared was that they felt confronted, but in a way that opened them, rather than closing them.
And this is after all the main aim of the 101 Vagina project, to open hearts and minds.
Thank you to Erin Lyons and Ivana Krsteska.
Here is some initial feedback from the guestbook at the 101 Vagina Book Exhibition as part of the Melbourne Fringe festival.
The opening night of the 101 Vagina Book Exhibition as part of the Sydney Fringe was packed!
People had heard about it from all sorts of different directions and once again it was great to see people engage with and absorb the work. There is a kind if reverence with which many people stand and read, and look, and read.
Great to have Tami Sussman perform her “That word Vagina” spoken word piece, Hannah from Honi Soit talking about the recent #vaginasoit issue, and Nikki Goldstein, a well known sexologist, delivering some vagina education.
Thanks to Tap Gallery for the great space. It’s a non-profit community run organisation! :)
Media Release: 16 August 2013
Vagina censorship at Sydney Fringe 2013The 101 Vagina Book Exhibition will be part of the Sydney Fringe this year (2013) and was also selected to be part of the Sydney Fringe’s Fringe Arts Forum, a visual arts showcase. (Fringe Arts Forum 11-28 Sept: Opening night 13 Sept 6pm)
However, months after arrangements for this were made, the Italian Forum venue owners decided that the images could not be shown because they want the venue to be “family Friendly”.
Regarding this question, Ciao magazine published an article, titled “Children come out of vaginas but are not allowed to see them?” on theÂ question of minors viewing the exhibition’s content. This followed the police’s suggestion that minors should be kept out of the recent 101 Vagina exhibition in Sydney in June. The police also requested that the gallery windows be covered, leading to a front page article in MX newspaper with a large headline “Hide the Vagina”. Arts Hub also covered the story in a bit more detail.
After frustrating communication attempts the venue decided that the images could be shown, but only if they are censored such that no genitalia is visible.
This presents an excellent opportunity to raise the issue of censorship and explore the taboo from another angle. The audience will find themselves engaged in a multimedia censorship bonanza, where each “offending” genitalia will be covered with a scannable QR code that takes people, via their smart phones, to a censorship related website, article, image or simply the original, uncensored photo.
In a related issue, the media recently picked up on the “scandal” caused by the Sydney Uni Student magazine, Honi Soit, who published 18 vaginas on their front cover. Something went wrong with the black censorship boxes not sufficiently obscuring the genitalia and all heaven broke loose.
Vagina related taboos, and body image shame generally, are connected to the staggering increase in women and girls seeking out labiaplasty, to which Australian censorship laws contribute.
The main exhibition at Tap Gallery in Darlinghurst will still host all the uncensored images, from 17-22 Sept. 2013.
101 Vagina will also be in the Melbourne Fringe from 25 Sept to 6 Oct 2013.
101 Vagina Book Exhibition (Sydney Fringe 2013)
At the Fringe Arts Forum (only a few of the images and censored)
Dates: 11-28 September: 2pm till late
Venue: Italian Forum, 23 Norton St, Leichardt
Main Exhibition (Entire exhibition)
Dates: 17-22 September: 12-6pm daily
Opening night: Tuesday 17 September 6-9pm
Venue: Tap Gallery, 45 Burton St, Darlinghurst
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 whatâ€™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: https://2013.sydneyfringe.com/event/visual-arts-installation-environment/…
17-22 Sept., 12-6pm
Thursday 17 Sept. 6-9pm
Tap Gallery: 278 Palmer StÂ Â Darlinghurst NSW 2010
101 Vagina website: