Pussy Propaganda x CHEAP Festival

A 150m long Art installation in the middle of the city of Bologna, Italy. A project by MissMe for CHEAP Festival.

“To be born with a woman’s body is to bear the unsolicited burden of humanity’s unresolved attitudes towards sex.She learns to adapt to a patriarchal system that blames women for the misbehavior of men. She’s taught to be ashamed of her sexuality and apologize for the power of her body.This is the portrait of an unapologetic soldier, The Portrait of a Vandal.”

This observation is the launching pad for the work of MissMe, the Montreal-based “artful vandal”:all of her paste-up street pieces develop around the issue of gender, women's bodies, power and the abuse of male power, the violence that repeatedly, systematically rains down on women’s bodies.

MissMe came to Bologna as part of CHEAP, when the street poster art project invited her to create a project in Viale Masini, on a 150-meter-long wall that has previously hosted artists such as MP5, Vinz Feel Free, 2501, Hyuro, 108, and Alberonero.

On a blood red background, the bodies of MissMe's "vandals" appear one after another, with typographic posters in between (designed by Benedetta Bartolucci aka Redville) bearing the phrases the artist has used over the years to accompany the pieces she has hung up all over the world, often illegally, often late at night: from the evocative “I didn’t came from your rib, you came from my VAGINA” to “don’t blame women for the misbehavior of MEN”, together with “It’s not me, it’s YOU”, not to mention the decisive “FUCK your judgment”.

These are joined by posters in Italian, such as “sui nostri corpi, sulla nostra salute, sul nostro piacere DECIDIAMO NOI” (about our bodies, our health, our pleasure, WE DECIDE) borrowed directly from a banner heading one of the most recent protest marches by the movement Non Una Di Meno.But there are other references to local feminism, too: the CHEAP notice boards on Viale Masinifeature multiple copies of the poster “TACI, ANZI PARLA” (SHUT UP, OR BETTER, SPEAK), a quote from a book by Carla Lonzi.

It is this very quotation that fuels the 2018 edition of the annual Festival of Illustrated Violence(partnering with CHEAP on the MissMe project) in an attempt to focus this year’s festival on the phenomena that has managed to carve out so much space in mainstream news and beyond: the wave of women collectively speaking up and narrating their own personal experiences of violence, beginning with the world of cinema and entertainment but spreading to the workplace and the spaces of each woman’s everyday life.

This is the frame for interpreting MissMe’s piece, curated by CHEAP: as a feminist move to re-appropriate space and speak out on the public stage. As a contribution to public discussion.MissMe’s female “Vandals” assert this re-appropriation, they claim the right to act on it in anger, without holding back, without good manners, without pretty smiles, having re-educated themselves according to a promising new premise - FUCK your judgment.

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