Woman who collected her menstrual blood on pieces of cloth for five years displays stained fabric in ‘intimate’ art exhibition
Daily Mail: A woman who spent five years collecting her menstrual blood on scraps of cloth has turned the red-stained fabric into an art exhibition. Placed in embroidery hoops, 90 pieces of the soiled cloths hang next to dangling apples, which are meant to represent ovulation. Carina Ubeda, from Chile, then stitched the words ‘Production’, ‘Discard’, and ‘Destroyed’ below each of the stains.
‘I can not wear pads because they give me allergies,’ Ms. Ubeda, who recently graduated from the University of Playa Ancha with a Bachelor of Arts, explained to Soy Chile.
Exhibited at the Center of Culture and Health in Quillota, the everyday cloths, which Ms. Ubeda used instead of tampons or pads, are presented as ‘an abstract image’. ‘This is a super visual,’ Ms Ubeda said, adding that she wanted to ‘mix art with something personal.’
Fritz Demuth, the Center’s art manager, said that since the exhibition debut on Friday, many spectators have tried to smell the pieces of cloth. ‘But the smell just does not exist, [the cloths] are not filthy,’ she said, adding that to maintain hygiene, disinfectant spray was applied directly to the blood and cloth before going on display.
For five years, Ms. Ubeda kept the fabrics in a cushion. ‘I keep things because I always say, “I’ll do something with it.”‘ At first, she tried to make an artist’s book with the cloths, but said that an exhibition made more sense. ‘When I look at the cloth, I do not see that, but an abstract image,’ she said.
‘Many people have asked me why I wanted to show something so intimate. . . For me, it is simply a work of art made by me, I see them as separate hings.’
Some viewers were shocked by the exhibition, calling it ‘filthy’ and ‘disgusting’. But many women have come to the artist’s defense.
One woman, Francisca Torres, originally wrote in Spanish: ‘I loved the reflection of the artist, being able to look at everyday things from a point of view much more abstract, such an act, I feel beautiful!’
Meanwhile Marlen Virginia Huerta Mella asked how people could be ‘disgusted’ with something that makes women ‘blessed and unique?’ ‘We can create life,’ she said. ‘[These comments] are a little expected of men, however, some of the female comments fill me with sadness.’
And Silvana Sáez added: ‘Male blood is celebrated for being brave while ours is a shame. This won’t change until we release our body as the first stage of political struggle, repression and male power of centuries.’
Is this really what qualifies as “art” these days? I’m at a loss for words…