Feminism is one of the most relevant issues on the contemporary art scene; combined with actionism and performance, which are quite daring art forms themselves, it can create quite a resonance. And it does, with a help of Swiss conceptual artist Milo
Moiré. Her art is a controversial topic not only to the viewers, but also to the art critics, and we will see why.
According to the artist, her biggest influence is Marina Abramović, after seeing some performances of the latter,
realized that the body is a powerful expressive tool able to make art. Since that she has decided to use only her naked body in the variation of art actions.
During the Script System
traveled in the public transport completely naked with the names of the clothing peaces written over her body.
Many parts of our lives are so mechanical, they turn into almost scripts that we follow unconsciously. Especially the morning routine of getting to work; so the artists tried to break this circle. Milo
says that naked body regains its ability to truly communicate without the attachment to financial status, fashion, etc. Though, she is frequently arrested for her art,
continues to appear naked in her performances since 2007.
A lot of attention was drawn to her 2016 performance in Cologne protesting the 2015 New Year Eve sexual attacks in Cologne. Her latest piece called Mirror Box is particularly controversial and took place in Dusseldorf, Amsterdam, and London (in the latter she was arrested and fined £750). The artist was wearing mirror box, offering the public to touch her genitals or breasts (that were inside the box).
She claimed to advocate for women’s rights and the freedom of choice in terms of sexual partners and behavior. While this is her strongest piece that made quite a fuzz, the idea of performance is not knew and was executed in 1968 by the feminist artist Valie Export.
Before we come closer to the main question, there are few things that have to be mentioned. Milo Moiré is often criticized for turning her works into something rather pornographic, than feminist. At the times her allusions are a bit straightforward and blunt; this might not be a bad point if it helps to create a powerful work. She frequently participates in the erotic photo shoots, that aesthetically are very close to the pornography. The doubtful part is that the imagery is for sale, as well as some videos and “uncensored” versions of her performances that can be viewed for a fee at her website. As the artists states herself, she thinks that there should be no restrictions and limits to art, apart from death. She has a point, but death is a limit to everything, so the phrase is relevant in many cases.
The question is, where is the line between art and pornography? While women entitled to do whatever they want with their bodies, including all kinds of photography etc, the nudity itself is not a taboo anymore, at least in art. Powerful allusion needs just a bit more vast field for reflection, and this is not the matter of pornography, but rather the matter of a creative method and its application.