Jamie McCartney cast the vaginas of over 400 female volunteers. Ranging from twins, to post-natal mothers, transgender woman, aged from 18-65. He says the artwork was an attempt to beat ‘body fascism’ and fight against what women grow up and are told what they should look like, and what is ‘normal’ which unfortunately has led to a rise in vaginal cosmetic procedures.
Throughout research I have discovered that exploiting genitalia in art, female genitalia in particular, can potentially cross a very fine line. For example, Chicago’s ‘Dinner Party’ was criticised as ‘3D pornography’ and maintained an ‘essentialising, passive nature’ (Jones, 1996). Anish Kapoor unveiled a statue in the Palace of Versailles gardens was informally dubbed as the ‘queen’s vagina’ and was vandalised once in June, then cleaned, and again not long after. After the second time Kapoor demanded the graffiti remains how it is “to bear witness to hatred”. Alongside this controversy of female genitalia, Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi was put on trial in April 2015 for a sculpture of a kayak based on her vagina. The only thing that comes to my mind reading up on the controversy of exploiting the female body is why? Why are the public so prejudice and concerned by a part of the human body which welcomes them in to the world? Nevertheless, Jamie McCartney’s piece has received positive feedback and reception, with women from all over the world making contact with him for his next upcoming projects. He has developed the ‘Great Wall of Vagina’ in to projects where he has cast penises and breasts as well as vaginas from all over the world, he demonstrates there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way that your body should look like.