via Rebel Circus
Sexuality in art is a very personal thing. It can be expressed — and of course, interpreted — in a variety of ways. But, what happens when a woman puts her sexuality on full display, for the entire world to see and touch?
A female artist hailing from Europe has done just that in an effort to teach individuals about the C-word. No, not that one.
We’re talking about consent. Curious? Find out more about how a woman is letting people grope her breasts — and vagina — to fight against sexual violence and rape.
Art in the name of consent. Many people are afraid to express themselves. But Swiss performance artist Milo Moiré? Well, not so much. And recently, the 32-year-old wanted to teach people a thing or two about a hot-button issue: consent.
Art in the name of consent. Introducing “Mirror Box,” Moiré’s most recent public art performance. Though strange, the piece is a complex statement about sex, agency and of course, consent.
Art in the name of consent. “What happens if a woman[s] sexuality is on public display … [and she] takes the initiative, thereby creating clear rules for the intimate exchange?” reads a line from her website in regards to the piece.
Art in the name of consent. During the performance, Moiré wore a mirrored box over her chest and her vagina, and hit the streets. The Swiss then invited complete strangers — both men and women — to touch her breasts and lady bits through the openings in the boxes. Yes, really.
Art in the name of consent. What’s more, there were cameras within the boxes to record the entire experience. Talk about ballsy.
Art in the name of consent. “I am standing here today for women’s rights and sexual self-determination. Women have a sexuality, just like men have one. However, women decide for themselves when and how they want to be touched, and when they don’t,” Moiré exclaimed in the busy streets, according to ATTN.
Art in the name of consent. There were some rules, though. Moiré invited the strangers to touch her for a maximum of 30 seconds — not a second more. And as you would have it, a bunch of people accepted her offer.
Art in the name of consent. In an interview with ATTN:, Moiré opens about who touched her. “During my Performance in Dusseldorf, Germany, with the ‘Mirror Box’ on my breasts, around 40 percent of the people who touched my breasts were women,” she revealed. “Whereas in Amsterdam and London, two female participants overall put their hands in the genital ‘Mirror Box.’”
Art in the name of consent. Through the performance, Moiré hoped to show people what consent really means. Additionally, the artist claims that she’s simultaneously paying homage to Austrian performance artist Valie Export, who fought for women’s rights in the 1960s through her work.
Art in the name of consent. Apparently during the ‘60s, Export did something similar. In 1968, she stood in the streets of Vienna with a styrofoam box covering her breasts, inviting strangers to reach in and touch them.
Art in the name of consent. “‘The Mirror Box’ performance states that women are equal partners in sexuality, not only receivers,” Moiré told ATTN:, adding, “As a woman, I have — just like any man — the power and the right to possess a sexual nature, and I have to agree before we can have sex.”
Art in the name of consent. “There are rules,” she continued (a fact which we highlighted earlier). “During my performance, for instance, people who put their hands in the box have to look me in the eyes, there has to be interaction. Through the eye contact and the feedback I could see the people, but make it clear what I like, and that is a natural act. People have always been very respectful — I’ve never had to give negative feedback.”
Art in the name of consent. Did Moiré ever feel afraid for her safety? “Since I perform usually in public, I learned to handle worries about my safety,” she explained to ATTN:. “However, Mirror Box was my most intimate performance, and I prepared everything meticulously. My boyfriend is always by my side. Nothing really dangerous happened, fortunately.”
Art in the name of consent. This isn’t the first time Moiré has advocated for sexual equality publicly, however. Several months ago, after nearly 1,000 women were sexually assaulted on New Year’s Eve in a train station in Germany, Moiré stood completely nude holding up a sign that read: “Respect Us! We rare not fair game even when naked!!!”
Art in the name of consent. Speaking of her arrest in London over the piece, she told ATTN: “Being in a cell is a horrible experience. Nevertheless, I would take the risk again, because for me the purpose is too important. In the end, I see more hope than fear guiding my performances. Seeing as my performance art polarizes, I was surprised and pleased about how many people worldwide, and many, many women, too, got my message!”