Figgy Wonderland from the Vaginal Pride or Otherwise Occupied series

1998, digital photo printed by hp, 40 x 36 inches.

From Vaginal Pride Series: Big vagina’s hung up high so the viewer gets caught looking up a skirt.  

I have always loved figs.  They taste delicious and they are so sexual.  I’ve always wanted to put one in my vagina to see what it was like. In Greece every morning I climbed the tree outside Myrtle’s house to pick figs for breakfast even though I was always attacked by ants.  Then I climbed fig trees in Guanauato, Mexico and got a terrible face rash from the fig milk.

I made my vision into photographs.  They didn’t do anything for me though.  They needed to be really present, so I made the photos big and huge and engulfing.  After I blew them up, I put them up high because they should be spiritual and lofty.  Like the sun.

Putting them high is contrary to the typical low status of the lady.  Plus, height makes the neck crane and exposes the forbidden peeking of the child looking up the mother’s skirt.  Or the gawking man.  Very Freud.  I love the craning of the neck – if you get caught looking, you’re obviously interested.

So then people say…Well, this vagina thing has been done before Dodi, and it’s never worked.  Well, my response is, “So has painting been done before.”  My other response is, “What does “worked” mean anyway?  Does it mean its ability to sell?” Frankly, this is a “Fuck you” artwork and I’m not looking for anyone’s love with it.

I am very resentful of the dismissive attitude that I feel some have had towards my work.  This has fueled my fire more than ever to be the woman that I am.  I am pleased with my work: what I’ve done this year and where I’ve come.  Security  has given me permission to do whatever I want to do and made me feel that it is valid and important.  Columbia University 1998