Pussylluminati

 
This is a show about the beauty and power of vulvas. Direct, raw and beautiful pussies. These are 15 brave and powerful women who share their reality. We are taking the conversation back.
— MissMe
Is my vulva interesting enough?
— participant's testimony
Do I even know what it actually looks like?
— participant's testimony
I believe in being a creator of content rather to just consume
— participant's testimony

The Pussylluminati project begins around 2013, in the wake by a pop culture phenomenon. That’s when MissMe notices the resurgence of conspiracy theories about a hand gesture - notably the triangle gesture - associated with the Illuminati. She is taken aback by the widespread fascination clandestine societies elicited, both around her and on the net: To her, the pyramidal shape created by joining both hands resembles a vulva more than anything else. A new reflection on female sexuality - mysterious, oc- culted and often misunderstood - ensues. The per- ceived enigma and apprehension are not the facts of Illuminati power, but rather of historically diabolizing sexuality and zealously concealing genitals.

The Pussylluminati concept and its graphic iteration stem from this reflection, of which the relational art project featured in this catalogue is a variant. MissMe seeks to put the pussy on a pedestal, and by doing so, restore its nobility. The artist casts a wide variety of models selected among the volunteers (through an instagram casting call), and the photo shoot becomes the setting for the exchange between her and her participants. She conceives portraits of their vulvas and pubes that are at once realistic, sober, and venerable, shot by photographer Nastia Cloutier-Ignatiev. Testimonies of the process, exchanges, and of the overall experiences written by the participants articulate the project and the resulting images in a vibrant way.
 

This experience is a reminder of the place in which we all came.
— participant's testimony
 
IMG_1863.jpg
 
We fight the oh-so-monotonous and edited images of the “perfect” pink tight barbie-like pussy with the rainbow of shapes and personalities that we all are. This is the sisterhood.
— MissMe
Because I just wanted to. Because I’m tired of a woman with body confidence being told she is intimidating. Because I’m a woman who enjoys sex for pleasure. Because I am not ashamed of it. Because I don’t need approval. Because an attempt to blackmail me for money using a picture of my body was made. Because it’s nobody’s business to tell me when it’s acceptable to appreciate my beauty and when and how to cover it up. Because I love my perfect imperfections. Because not everyone loves their own. Because my pussy might empower other pussies. Because I simply don’t give a fuck. Because loving and respecting yourself should be the first thing you teach your daughters. Because respect and self-respect does not only apply when I am clothed. Because me loving me for me is my beauty standard. Because I want others to feel this way. Because we are taught to compete with our sisters. Because we need to empower our sisters. Because we need to stand with our sisters. Because my sexuality is not for you to question. Because being open about my sexuality is not reason denigrate my intelligence.
— particiapnt's testimony
 
Pour la première fois de ma vie à l’intérieur de moi ça grondait :
« Fuck you world i’m fabulous »
— participant's testimony
As a lesbian, my life can be pretty vag-centric. I love the vag, I worship the vag, but.... do I like my own?
— participant's testimony
i had recently lost a pregnancy and had emergency surgery. Part of my creation center was removed. I felt i no longer had a connection with my body. I now have scars on my belly. I wanted pictures in my transformed body. Reconnect with myself. I was astounded to be complimented on my skin tone. On how my skin looked soft. The same skin i had felt so uncomfortable in. The compliment made me smile internally. “Yes! Sit on the throne and spread your wings! I WAS POWERFUL!
— participant's testimony
We can only become a force against the stagnation of socio-political views through honoring our stories and experience while we are here and still can. I wish to leave this mark, fighting for what I value with reckless abandon. It is the female who has the gift to create, nurture and grow new life, and I wish to leave this world in a better state for my children than when it was handed to me at birth. It’s uplifting to be in a space where women’s bodies were shamelessly honored and immortalized through the creation of this series; I was glowing.
— participant's testimony
I took the process very seriously. In today’s social/political climate, I had no choice but to go in purposefully. Our work as activists, artists, advocates is too important.
— participant's testimony
Feeling comfortable in your body is a huge challenge for cisgender, trans and queer women.
— participant's testimony
My family is very conventional and religious therefor it was difficult to discuss certain topics that would go against their morals and values. Due to the lack of communication with my family, I do believe it has resulted me being uncomfortable with vocalizing my thoughts and with my physical appearance. Also, affecting my confidence.
— participant's testimony

Listen to them

Ladies say why they decided to answer my call to get their vulvas photographed


Concept: MissMe

Photography: Nastia Cloutier Ignatiev

Makeup: MissMe and Meghan

Photoshoot production: Stacy Delince

Interview recordings and production: Urbania