Why and of who I had this photo in my camera, I will leave for your fantasies to figure out. But once a friend took my camera and stayed staring at the photo. So I also gave another look and the photo seemed to have some potential. I cut the sides and fixed the light, and sent it back to the model.
For a long time I had forgotten about the photo completely until one day I received it back in huge size. Beautiful 1 square meter vulva, but where the hell can I put one like that. For at least half a year it rested in the corner of my room, still packed in.
So many times I had visitors coming and demanding to see the notorious vulva. I rolled it open and closed again, finally so many times that it started to loose its fine print and having wrinkles inside. To save the vulva I finally attached it on the wall, just upon my bed.
Several visitors came to our flat and when ever a bigger party was triggered off, the crowd moved to my big room. Later I heard about the reactions of people: Whatta? Is that a man or a woman? In which position? Bending? How? A woman cannot possibly look like that! At least not me! These are a mouth and an eye? This is some kind of artistic bullshit, only the weird artists understand. All I wished to reply was that go to a mirror, bend down and check your own ass.
There were also ones, for whom the photo was a pleasure. Once Terje ran into my room, took the picture out, stared at it for a while and then mentioned Kiwas exhibition theme: Nude.
Kiwa agreed to exhibit the photo, but I was almost giving up. So busy were the times that having troubles with some vulva picture seemed to be over my abilities. But after several reminders it became easier to just do it, rather than to find another excuse. At that point I was still naively thinking that putting the photo up will finish the story.
Finally I hang the photo on a restaurant wall. Under a huge arch straight in the sight of visitors. The next day the photo was gone, only some nails reminding its former stay. We demanded the photo back and found a compromise: a less screaming position and covering it with a cloth. One of the waitresses said that a night before my artwork had caused a lot of trouble with the workers and the boss. But one small kid had said that it was a gorgeous picture: “Well, that is art!”
It was the opening day of the exhibition. Wines, snacks, a considerable amount of guests. Kiwa introduced all the artworks laconically, and adding that mine can only be peeped through the curtain once the exhibition is over. The Estonian Ministry of Culture was there, wondering if it was really that horrible. But of course not, and it was finally covered anyway with a sign: this piece may not be appropriate for your eyes.
Meanwhile an active commenting is taking place online, on Facebook wall. As it is an auction, many potential buyers have raised their heads. Suddenly a friend requests start appearing from local photographers, journalists, TV-faces and in the end the Minister of Culture herself. The last one wishes me luck with handling the press.
All this fuss arises about the vulva picture, but nobody really notices the message under it: “reproductions of sexual society: voyerists producing exhibitionists”. So I take my chance to mention it to the Minister via a FB message. A day later I read an article: Minister of Culture: Feedback to the Scandalous Photo confirms the message of the artist.
In my head it was just a photo, in a course of time it became my first photo on exhibition, and from one explosive moment it became a “sinful”, “shameless”, “perverse” and “obscene” piece of trash. And I, the same time, looking for cheap attention, being a modern “shittin’-in-a-bottle artist” and “blamishing the moral society”. Fortunately I have a strong sense of humour and no problems with self irony.
But still questions arise. Why do we have such a modelled understanding of a nude? A busty chick in see-through bikinis playing with her hair on the sunset is a beautiful nude, but a woman looking through her legs is a sinful act. Celebrities nude pics, pregnant naked women on magazine covers and nipple slips, crotch chasing with all the rest are just a part of yellow media, but a woman’s bottom is overproduction of sexuality.
Obviously with this attention in media the photo got sold and another few articles followed. But due to the popularity of vulva I decided to make it available for ordering again. Its original size is 60x65cm, but any other size can also be ordered. Price is negotiable. Write to me at email@example.com.