Smoking Lips (2011)

In this private studio performance I painted my inner and outer vulva with red lipstick and proceeded to "smoke" a cigarette from their lips. Women often paint their mouths with lipstick, which has been said to make their lips look more like the vulva, therein putting their private sex on display. In reversing my mouth and my vulva I am orally silenced ("women are meant to be seen and not heard"), but reveal the overt sexualization and subsequent shaming of the female sex. By smoking, traditionally a male habit, through my vulva I claim the cigarette as my own and rebel against fertility, male ownership, and objectification.

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