Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Bio-Art: Menstrala et al.

(Deepest apologies: I had a paper due on Tuesday that did not save right the first time, so I was rewriting it at lightning speed instead of working on this blog. That said, Friday will have an extra entry this week to compensate the difference. We cool, blog hamsters? Please don't gnaw my face off.) 

For those of you who are not women, let me tell you this from personal experience: There is a very nasty, messy time of the month that most of us simply refer to as a period. It's that time of the month when the uterus decides to shed itself instead of being reabsorbed into the body (as in most competent mammals), leading to a massive release of blood that makes a woman look like an axe murderer after going to the bathroom. Guys, you've been warned.

This. Once a month. Minus the knife, but don't push your luck.

So, what to do with all that blood? Well, if the woman has it in mind to use a catcher cup on her monthly cycle, she can do some pretty cool tricks with her blood. We aren't talking anything too kinky. Just, umm, art.

Vanessa Tiegs is a dancer/artist/photographer (from New York?). She graduated from Smith College with a Master's Degree in Women's Spirituality. Her master's thesis covered women's reactions to their monthly cycles. She graduated with the full intent of turning her monthly period into art.

The video is just a small sampling of her Menstrala series. The whole thing contains 88 tiny pictures, all done entirely in menstrual blood. The designs were first plotted as white-on-black drawings, then redrawn with the artist's own monthly blood. They were done over the span of three years, which, for an artist, is amazing output. As of right now, there are ten available for viewing. She is currently remixing Menstrala with photographs that curve with the paintings.

Tiegs is far from the only person to draw with menstrual blood. The medium has a cult following, complete with hippies calling it "moon blood." There are also people who say that nothing at all justifies painting with menstrual blood...not even a darn good drawing of MegaMan.

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