Womanhouse was a feminist art installation initiated by Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro. They rented a 17 room mansion in Hollywood for 6 weeks, and shaped the interior in to a decaying environment set to capture the idea of “the dreams and fantasies of women as they sewed, cooked, washed and ironed away their lives”. Everything in the kitchen was pink, as associated with femininity. The aprons had female body parts on them, so when they were finished with and hung up the physical body was attached to the societal role stereotypes held for women. 3D sculptural eggs and breasts were on the walls and ceiling of the kitchen, to represent reproductive and stereotypical purposes. Performance art and theatre was also live at the installation including ‘Cock and Cunt play’ written by Chicago. Janice Lester and Faith Wilding dress as two large male/female genitalia, ‘he’ argues that her lack of penis justifies her duty to fulfil the housework. This is to represent essentialism in the domestic household, as her physical body as woman has led to a stereotypical nature in her own home. Each artist had their own contribution to the house; Chicago took the bathroom and made an installation using blood and used tampons to tackle the taboo of periods, titled ‘Menstruation Bathroom’. Schapiro created ‘Dollhouse’ and ‘Dining Room’.

JC menustration bathroom

‘Menstruation Bathroom’ by Judy Chicago


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