A new art show is opening in Philadelphia next month, and it features “art” that sounds both disgusting and unhygienic. That’s because the show is Menstrala, billed as “Philadelphia’s first menstrual-art focused show.”
Here’s how it was described at Atlas Obscura:
Underground art is any form of art that operates outside of conventional norms in the art world, and menstrual art, once an obscure art sub-genre, is coming into its own.
Get an exclusive first look at the artworks in Menstrala, Philadelphia’s first menstrual art show, which will bring together almost 50 female and non-binary artists covering a range of art forms and media to explore themes of celebration, connection, and synchronicity with nature, wisdom, fertility, sisterhood, and cycles of creation and destruction.
During the event, featured artists will speak on Menstrala’s curatorial themes as well as their personal inspiration and artistic process. The Philly Women*s Slavic Ensemble will perform for 30 minutes and provide a short tutorial on the traditional women’s technique of chest singing, a a style of singing that stems from Slavic folk tradition and produces deep, bold, resonant tones. Tarot reader extraordinaire Alex Kurowski will provide open tarot readings; professional charter of the cosmos Amber Reeves shares insights on current astrological transits and map participant’s moon charts.
Menstrala was “conceived, orchestrated, and co-curated” by Rachael Amber (you can buy a journal she created here to track “moon and menstrual cycles), Sadie Francis (who sells framed dead bugs to hang on your wall), and Chelsey Eiel, who owns The Common Room, where the event is taking place. The venue’s website reads:
The Common Room strives to provide inclusive and accessible space for womxn-identified and nonbinary folks to be seen, heard, and valued. Through intentional exhibits, workshops, and events, The Common Room is making space for a community of creative makers and healers to gather, learn, and grow. We collaborate with individuals and organizations to promote awareness for social justice issues by offering a platform for marginalized artists to raise their voices.
The website also features a call for artists to join Menstrala.
We welcome all art forms, including sculpture, painting, drawing, photography, and multi-media relating to the presence or absence of your menstrual cycle, wombs, matriarchal wisdom and pain, bleeding and blood, connection to the moon and nature, taboo, fertility, or any way you experience or perceive the divine feminine. We welcome artwork made with blood, though it is not required. New and emerging artists are welcome and encouraged!
Accepted artists will be invited, though not required, to speak, dance, or sing about their work and journey
Much of the art sounds both disgusting and unhygienic. One piece of art is shared on the Atlas Obscura Facebook Page. Take a look:
Is that what I think it is? Because I think that’s what I think it is.
If you want tickets, and I know you do, you can buy them here for $25 each. That does include light refreshments, so it’s probably worth it. If you have questions, that link also contains the name of the man to e-mail.
Yes. A man.
People will go to this. Women because they need to support other women in their over-the-top protestations of lack of bodily shame, men because they really need to prove that they aren’t weirded out by the ladythings that ladyparts do. Any man who wouldn’t want to see the bodily waste of a woman is clearly a misogynist of the first order.
I’m a woman. I have no shame about having ladyparts or the ladythings that they do. Nor do I feel the need to protest so much that I have no shame that I feel the need literally to put those ladythings on display. Can private things not be private without people assuming shame? Moreover, do we need to pretend they’re art?