Talk about all access.
Not so for conceptual artist Dayna McLeod.
The Canadian artist is on the road with her new show called The Uterine Concert.
Yep, that's right: Uterine Concert.
The show is, funnily enough, exactly what it sounds like. McLeod has a speaker inserted through her vagina connecting to a DJ booth where artists take turns spinning killer sets for her vagina. Attendees can listen to the music through their own headphones, or by using a stethoscope pressed against McLeod.
I get uncomfortable enough at actual rock shows, the idea of being at a concert where all that sweat, mess, and noise were taking place inside my vagina is a little bit hard to handle. But on the plus side, at least you don't have to worry about losing your hearing!
McLeod's inspiration comes from the expectations put on women and our bodies by society at large. She discusses how in her 30s everyone wanted to know when she was having children, and now in her 40s she hasn't still escaped that conversation. Now, however, people want to know if she EVER wanted to have kids.
Vaginas are so central to our lives and they are so casually debated by the talking heads on TV everyday. It's refreshing to have the way we perceive them reframed by McLeod's work of art.
It definitely reminded me of that thing pregnant women do where they play music for their fetus, and that's with good reason. It's an idea that has been on McLeod's mind for some time. McLeod has this to say:
"I saw an ad for a speaker that a pregnant woman would insert into her vagina in order to get closer to her fetus." Let me repeat: Closer. To. Her. Fetus.
The company who makes this speaker is competing against “baby bump” speakers that are attached to the outside of a woman’s pregnant belly. But what the actual hell is up with these speakers? That there is a range of products like this, that by all medical accounts are based on junk science, is alarming.
The fact that these companies are literally inserting themselves into women’s bodies sends a message to new mothers that they need technology to not only be a good mother, but to be a great mother. That new mothers need this technology to make a walking-out-of-the-womb-knowing-all-of-the-words-to-”Don’t Stop Believin’”-because-it’s-Grandpa’s-favorite-song baby.
In other words, a genius baby. This is not fair to expectant mothers as they have enough on their plates, like MAKING A PERSON WITH THEIR OWN BODY.
The magical otherness of the vagina and the invitation to experience it in an entirely new way is a brilliant notion. Here's hoping it makes a few people think and McLeod's ovaries continue to rock and roll.