martha.breeze@gmail.com

power through nonsense and sometimes saying the word vagina.

i concentrate mainly on obsession, repetition and collection of personal objects. i find seeking the metaphors in my work thrilling and enjoy the often ludicrous outcome of this search. in this work I once again focus on repetition, and what this means as a symbol, through a frolicsome display celebrating the meticulous process of collecting, connecting and repeating.

the same form of a photocopied miniature blue merkin-shaped object, made from my own hair, appears again and again over a significantly changing background. the blue merkin represents self; the alternating background represents change. when we change our appearance, our partners, jobs or country, we still bring ourselves no matter what, despite these external changes. here, i challenge my previous revelation of inevitable change by describing the idea of inevitable sameness.

repetition, symbolism, visual gestures and representational forms make up a yantra - a visual form of a mantra and an endeavour to master the process of development. the religious aspect of this mirrors the shrine-like appearance of my work.

glorifying a subject gives power to something previously perceived as having less worth. when people feel threatened by power, one potential retaliation is often realised in attempts to humiliate, ridicule and patronise to reverse perceived imbalance. instilling a fear in those who feel threatened by the vagina creates a need for this power re-balance.

the vagina is an easy target for humiliation and power exchange as witnessed throughout history in witch burnings, genital mutilation and rape as a war crime. in contrast, the vagina was worshipped, honoured and admired for centuries. the flashing of one’s cunt was used as a tool to scare off demons and to increase fertility.

here i provide a humorous alternative to this ridicule in the glorifying of the pubic wig through an almost religious and shrine-like repetitive yantra and the ridiculousness of the need to do that. aspects of femininity are still being feared, judged, and humiliated. glorifying the nonsense of the pubic wig turns the threat of humiliation on its head.

as an unofficial social experiment i have been saying the word vagina and noting the responses. most people laugh, even in serious conversation. humiliation is bound up even in the word itself. this work promotes acceptance and normalising of the vagina and the loveliness of everything around it.

i see each installation as a paragraph. when i concentrate on one aspect it’s like i’m constructing a sentence. each object is a word. like poetry, each part is decisively selected and positioned.

this is one sentence in a growing series of collections, repetitive studies and installations.

the collection and ordering of the paragraphs are my current work practice.

references:

The Story of V - Catherine blackledge
Vagina - Naomi Wolf
Burning Women - Lady Stardust