In the spring of 2016 I cast hundreds of porcelain breasts as part of a sculpture project entitled Visual Titillation. The concept behind the piece echoes the sentiments of the “Free the Nipple” movement that has garnered quite a bit of attention recently: Does inundating my audience with visuals of breasts make them refrain from sexualizing this body part? Needless to say, the boobs attracted quite a bit of attention, and I received a lot of requests from people asking if they could have/buy one. The demand for these boobs kept increasing, so I decided to cast more boobs and have them for sale at my senior solo show , which will open on October 22nd. However, the sale of female body parts for no higher purpose is not really my style (the media does this enough as it is, am I right?), and I figured I could use people’s desire for a breast to my advantage. Not only does it further fulfill breast inundation, but it will bring awareness to this blog project that you are now reading about. The project: attached to each boob is a QR code that links to this blog. This blog is filled with stories that have come to embody what I like to call the 21st Century Female Experience.
Over the past year I have been collecting contributions from people under the broad theme of “anything that even remotely pertains to women.” At first I was bombarded with clarification questions: What are you looking for? How short does it have to be? Can I contribute something even if I’m a guy? Does it have to be something negative? Turns out, the less guidelines you give, the more people tend to freak out. But once I assured people that I was literally accepting anything pertaining to women from anyone, they began to get creative. The contributions encompass various mediums, from poems and personal accounts to self-reflections and written homages. Though the mediums may differ, one theme is consistent: being a woman in the 21st Century is a dynamic experience.
No one project can encapsulate the many facets of female identity, and my own experiences are not enough to fill the expanse of what it means to be a woman in 21st Century America. Thus, I sought assistance. I truly believe that diversifying our lens is imperative to understanding many of the contemporary issues related to womanhood. This is why I have reached out to others; this project is the frame, and the various stories are the lens. When you read these stories, poems, and trains-of-thought, I want you to gain insights into perspectives that are rarely tapped into: how women view themselves as women, daughters, mothers, and wives; and how women are viewed by the others in their lives, whether it be significant others, children, or friends.
In reading these stories, I want readers to expand the way in which they view female identity. I want to thank everyone who contributed to this project, and I will be forever thankful for your openness and willingness to share your experiences.
*If you would like to be a part of the Boob Project, please click here.