27 June 2013

"Menstrala" explained

Menstrala is the art (or the act of creating art) using menstrual blood.  Details below the fold...
From Guernica:
Menstrual painting, a.k.a. “menstrala” (a term coined by menstrual artist Vanessa Tiegs), is far from commonplace in the art world. Yet there is a long history of female artists incorporating their menstrual cycles into their work. One of the best-known examples is feminist artist Judy Chicago’s 1971 piece Red Flag, a photolithograph of a woman’s hand removing a bloody tampon from her vagina...

If you look on the Internet at menstrual artists’ websites, the negative responses to their work generally fall into one of two camps: people either find it disgusting and unhygienic, or they think it is hippy-dippy feminist nonsense. For her part, Beloso doesn’t understand the “ew” reaction: “Damien Hirst has preserved animals in formaldehyde. Do we say ‘ew’ when someone has a cut or wound? It’s not like it’s human waste, like urine or feces.” 
And from Salon:
Art school grad Carina Úbeda Chacana unveiled her exhibition, Cloths, at the Center of Culture and Health in Quillota, Chile late last week and it was composed of a display of five years of her own menstrual fluid along with dangling apples meant to represent her ovulation.
Whence the image (Artist Zanele Muholi’s “Ummeli” (2011) is a digital print on cotton rag of a digital collage of menstrual blood stains.)


  1. I consider menstrual blood [and the shed uterine lining cells in it] as human waste. No?

    1. I do think it could be considered waste, but I also think that it's entirely natural and shouldn't be perceived so negatively. For it to be a painting, especially. Do you need to touch the painting to view it? As long as it in no way is harming you, I think it's fine.


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