Saturday 5 April – Sunday 13 April, 2014
Sat 5 April, 6-9pm
Think Tank Gallery
939 Maple Ave, Suite #200
101 Vagina successfully launched in the USA at the Exhibition and Book Launch in Los Angeles at Think Tank Gallery in Downtown Los Angeles.
I can’t believe that it’s only been two and a half weeks since I got on the plane in Sydney on my way to Los Angeles, and now the first of my six city tour of USA and Canada is already done.
Thanks so much to the amazing crew at Think Tank Gallery, in particular Jacob Patterson. I was honoured to be at their space and felt very supported.
So, what’s happened since I got here?
Think Tank Gallery is a fantastic, huge space. I had a week to get over my jet lag and do some promo work getting flyers around the place and hanging a big banner out the front.
I was also super happy to have room for other artists to show their vagina art. Thanks to Mia Maldonado, Christiana, Morgan Miller and Ginger Liu!
This is the first time I’ve been able to hang all 101 images and messages in a single row, normally I need to double up.
The opening night went really well including speeches by Sex Nerd Sandra, Hernando Chaves and Elle Chase.
LA Weekly came to take photos of the launch and RUPTLY took some video footage.
People also jumped onto the vagina craft table with enthusiasm!
And as usual there we some great messages in the guest book.
And then it was all over.
San Francisco here I come !!!
I came to your exhibition yesterday at Think Tank and just wanted to say that I found your exhibition so beautiful, empowering, enlightening and f-king awesome!! Its such a celebration of diversity and a huge dose of positivity towards the ultimate power of femininity – which of course is so suppressed and covered in disgust in all societies.
The diversity and ownership seen in the photographs and stories is a fresh and powerful experience. No more sweeping vaginas under the rug and breeding insecurities and shame.
One image that stood out the most for me was the one with a woman on her period with a tampon string. I have never seen this – periods are associated with blue liquid anywhere else (!!!). To see this normal cycle in action was so good to see. Its natural, we go through this one week out of four. Real, raw and capturing the truth.
Nanette Gonzales from LA Weekly photographed the opening night of the 101 Vagina Exhibition and Book Launch at Think Tank Gallery in Los Angeles.
Another exhibition is now lined up for the USA & Canada tour: Laguna Beach!
(Laguna Gallery of Contemporary Art)
611 S Coast Hwy
Laguna Beach CA 92651
When I first arrived in L.A. I stayed with friends in Irvine and drove down to Laguna Beach to relax and get over my jetlag. After rolling my pants up and strolling down the beach, I happened past the Laguna Gallery of Contemporary Art (LGOCA) and walked inside to have a look.
I was warmly greeted by Chritiana, herself an artist, and when I mentioned the exhibitions I was doing she told me that she herself had made vagina art! So I invited her to show her work at the 101 Vagina exhibition. She loved 101 Vagina and twisted the gallery owners arm into hosting 101 Vagina themselves at LGOCA.
Because the exhibition in Chicago had been cancelled I had the first week in May free. Turns out that suited LGOCA perfectly to coincide with Art Walk also.
On top of all this I was delighted to find out that LGOCA have a strong focus on humanitarian aid, supporting good causes. So 101 Vagina is a perfect fit, given that $5 from the sale of every book goes to charities helping victims and survivors of violence and sexual abuse.
Interviews with three of the attendees at the 101 Vagina Exhibition and Book Launch at Think Tank Gallery in Los Angeles.
Always so great to see when 101 Vagina hits the spot for people :)
Ebri: “It was overwhelming in the best way possible.”
Rachael: “I felt like it was really well handled, and really caring.”
George: “It kinda made me wish I had a vagina.”
Sabrina: “I had considered labiaplasty”
Los Angeles: 5 – 13 April
Sat 5 April, 6-9pm
Think Tank Gallery
939 Maple Ave, Suite #200
See here for the full list of 101 Vagina events happening during the exhibition’s dutation in L.A.
San Francisco: 19 – 27 April
OPENING NIGHT:Saturday 19 April, 6-9pm
Goforaloop Gallery & Studios
1458 San Bruno Avenue
Montreal: 17 – 25 May
Le repaire des 100 talents
5867 Rue Saint-Hubert
New York: 3 – 8 June
NOo SPHERE Arts
251 East Houston St
Toronto: 14 – 22 June
Creative Blueprint Gallery
376 Bathurst Street
The exhibition is hung, the lighting is adjusted. There are just a few little things left to do tomorrow and then… I wait.
101 Vagina launched in Melbourne, Australia just a little over a year ago, on March 22, 2013, with a bang! I’d been working on the project for over two years already and most of the participants were from Melbourne, so plenty of locals already knew about it. On top of that, I had run a successful crowdfunding campaign, raising $20,000 required to self-publish and get the books professionally printed (large print runs are expensive, but they make the price per book manageable). I had good press and there was considerable expectation around the launch. It was huge! Thousand Pound Bend, the large warehouse type space, where the exhibition was held was packed.
In LA I’m nobody and until very recently no one had ever heard anything about my baby, though I’ve been busy for months trying to make connections and get the word out about the coming exhibition. But for every 100 emails sent I get perhaps one reply. And now, all that work is done and all I’m left with to do is wait. Wait to see who will come through the gallery doors. Wait to see how it’s received. Wait to see if people care. Wait to see if people will actually buy the book, which I need to sell in order to pay the gallery etc.
I’m also excited! I have some fantastic sexuality educators lined up to speak. The exhibition looks great, the space is amazing and huge, and there are some nice touches which give a splash of colour in an otherwise very minimal and understated experience. It’s a nice feeling to stand in the middle of a gallery after months of preparation and many hours of work and see it all done. There is also the anticipation of wondering how people will respond.
What will happen?
Conversely it’s always sad to pack up and leave. For the next week that gallery will be my spiritual home. I will make many, many connections with lots of different people. I will have discussions about interesting things and I expect some of those discussions to be passionate. And I will, or hope to, watch people’s hearts and minds open as they engage with the work. Somehow the exhibition and the space blend into one experience which makes it feel like removing a limb when I take the work down again at the end.
Thankfully I have a comfortable couch to sleep on, food I can eat in the morning, a rented car to get to the gallery, and a functioning body to do all the things I’ll need to do tomorrow; arms to hug people.
But for now by brain is going into the early stages of shutdown. That couch is looking very inviting and sleep, blessed sleep, beckons this weary artist into it’s hopefully rejuvenating fold.
Good night world. Be kind to me tomorrow :)
Press Release: 2 April 2014
This Saturday 5th April, 101 Vagina Exhibition and Book Launch
After months of planning, the 101 Vagina Exhibition and Book Launch are upon us.
L.A.’s Think Tank Gallery in the heart of Downtown’s Fashion District will host the official book launch and inaugural exhibition of 101 Vagina in the USA after a hugely successful launch and four exhibitions in Australia.
101 Vagina Exhibition and Book Launch
Sat 5th to Sun 13th April, 2014. Open daily 12-8pm
Saturday 5th April, 6-9pm
Think Tank Gallery
939 Maple Ave #200
The opening night events will include:
- Official Book Launch of 101 Vagina in USA
- Exhibition of all 101 photos and 101 messages from the 101 Vagina book
- Speeches by project creator Philip Werner and renowned sexuality educators
- A Vagina Crafternoon where people can make their own vagina art
- Listening station. Hear several women read out their vagina messages from the book
- Other local artists vagina art in various mediums.
On top of this, various events have been planned for the week that 101 Vagina is in town.
- Sat 5th April, 6-9pm: Book Launch and Exhibition Opening night.
- Wed 9th April, 8pm: Pozible crowdfunding workshop. I will share his experiences of crowdfunding $20,000 needed to self publish and print 101 Vagina in Australia
- Thu 10th April, 6-11pm: 101 Vagina will be part of LA Art Walk
- Sat 12th April, 6-8pm: Book signing and meet the artist
- Sat 12th April, 8-9pm: Photo shoot for 101 Penis & 101 Breasts
- Sun 13th April: 1-3pm: Art school discussion group around vaginas in art.
- Sun 13th April 4-6pm: Women’s group discussing body image, vaginas and labiaplasty.
101 Vagina is about breaking down the taboo around vaginas and body image shame generally. It confronts the lies we are told about what’s normal and celebrates our uniqueness and diversity. 101 Vagina is also about the sharing of story, of experience; the passing down of knowledge and wisdom.
This book contains 101 beautiful black and white photos of 101 women, along with a message, story or poem written by each woman to accompany their photo. The messages are candid and span the spectrum of emotions. They are raw and honest and form a small compendium of women’s experiences with their bodies and womanhood in general, with a focus on the vagina.
101 Vagina is light and profound, cheeky and deep.
After L.A, the exhibition will be visiting San Francisco (19-27 April), Montreal (17-25 May), New York (3-8 June) and finishing in Toronto (14-22 June). An exhibition in London, UK will follow in August.
Review copies of 101 Vagina are available on request. 101 Penis and 101 Breasts are also in the making.
Philip Werner – firstname.lastname@example.org