Dear all/ chères toutes,
 
 
 
 
 
Last summer the magazine Les Inrocks published its special summer sex edition 2014. This time, a pubis was on the cover. A female pubis. Hairy, without fuss, picture in a cold and raw light. No equivocation was possible. It was just banal sex.
 
 
I take the train to my hometown from Geneva. I grab a seat. I'm making myself comfortable: I put my magazine and my phone on the table.
 
A woman, I guess in her 30's takes a seat in front of me. She makes herself comfortable, shuts the blind and starts to snack. I do not pay attention to her, I catch my magazine from the table and start to read. My travel companion sits up brutally with a vague sign of disgust. I look at her in confusion.
” I cannot eat in front of it!” she explains. The (it), was the female pubis on the cover. I ask with surprise: ”Oh, you don’t like vaginas?” Shocked, she leaves and in the middle of the train starts to shout at me: ”You’re disgusting and what’s you’re doing is really disgusting!”
 
I am speechless. Stunned. Why did the cover
 have such an impact? Why did she feel so offended?
 
Anyway, I want to ask you something. An intimate thing as intimate as your pubis. Avoiding a vagina apology but starting from a desire to understand. A sexualised society, the omnipresence of glamourous sex reference but empty of realism. I also realize how little I know about my own vagina. How it would be impossible for me to recognize mine, isn't scary? I want to understand why this raw vagina is scary. For this reason, I invite you for twelve weeks. Sharing a bit of your intimacy with me. I would like to give you a mirror and a notebook with some simple instructions: You begin by a look at your vagina ten seconds, then the second week fifteen. Increasing your time, each week, until sixty-five seconds. You can write whatever you reach: the bloody truth or give free rein to your imagination. It’s up to you. If you feel commit yourself for twelve weeks, I will be pleased to give you the mirror and the notebook.
 
 
Kind Regards,
 
 
 
xx
 
 
Maëlle
 

 

 

After this brief episode, I wrote a letter to seven women explaining to them what happened on this train and asked them an answer. An answer who they need to look at their own sex. For 3 months, 7 women committed themselves to give me they’re own impression about their vagina. With pictures and multiple screens, put the videos in perspective to embodied them. It is 

not a narrative film. No start at A and no end at Z. It is all about layers, makes us think of 

body borders, mental images of the human body; with an invisible cyborg strolling inside 

an oyster. Starting from a very tiny thing to talk about a worldly matter, I want to get away from the 

body. Talking about gender issues is a far broader topic than only feminine body.

It is a lot about scale. At first, we missed the rawness of the women’s testimony. That 

was it. The rawness. That was exactly it. I was looking for softness. I was scared to be 

too brutal. I needed to break something. I am going to break stones, flint stone. I am 

fascinated by these layers. This virginal white colour covers the stone and as soon as you 

start breaking it, you discover a black, purple, grey stone a world full of layers. I cannot 

remove my eyes from it. I found a way to talk about layers, gender and body edges. And 

it is as hard as a stone.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

M E R S E A

(a cyborg story)

M E R S E A  installation,  Goldsmiths MFA show, 2015.