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June 27, 2016

Who Will Be America's Milo Moiré?

EUROPEAN UNION—Milo Moiré is a self-described Swiss "conceptual artist, performance artist, painter, Art-Amazon and psychologist" who's managed to hit several major European capitals with her latest art project, "Mirror Box". Basically, the box is comprised of at least four mirrors, cut to fit around her body, with the front-facing one also sporting a large hole giving members of the public access, depending on which version she's performing with at the time, to either her tits or her pussy—and as either she or her partner announce through her ever-present megaphone, "I am standing here today for women’s rights and sexual self-determination. Women have a sexuality, just like men have one. However, women decide for themselves when and how they want to be touched, and when they don't—and today you have a chance to touch my breasts for 30 seconds." Oh; and inside the box are several miniature video cameras to record how the hands are touching her not-so-private parts, the results of which she's edited into a couple of videos available on her website: a censored free one, and an uncensored version that can be purchased for €7.99 (US$8.81). According to Moiré's site, "The consensual nature of sexual acts becomes a symbol here. Moiré has additionally taken the liberty of showing female desire, thus giving women a sexual voice. The artist supplements the dominant image of the female body as a mirror of male desire through the illumination of the libidinous black box of woman. "Inevitably it is not only one’s own self that becomes recognisable through the Mirror Box," she continues. "The audience’s reflection on the mirrored box simultaneously becomes a visual metaphor for the role reversal from voyeur to the object of view: a constant play of inversions analogous to our roles in the digital world. Milo Moiré’s performance 'Mirror Box' is a societal reflection of human sexuality ...  Artist Milo Moiré utilises her body as an instrument, even as a weapon, in order to depict and disrupt power structures. She aggressively seeks the feminine expression of sexual self-determination and explores the boundaries of art and bourgeois morality." The project, Moiré states, is an "expanded reenactment" of, and homage to, Austrian artist Valie Export's "Tap and Touch Cinema" from 1968, which used a similarly-shaped box (though without the mirrors) in order to "fight[] for women's rights... through artistic actions." So far, Moiré has performed Mirror Box in Amsterdam, Dusseldorf and several other European cities—but when she attempted it in London's Trafalgar Square, she was promptly busted shortly after beginning the piece, tossed in a cell for 24 hours and forced to pay a "4-digit fine." As The Daily Beast's Lizzie Crocker noted, "In 2014, Milo Moiré burst onto the contemporary performance art scene with her provocative "PlopEgg Painting": naked and squatting over a canvas outside Germany’s annual Art Cologne fair, the Swiss conceptual artist conceived an abstract painting by disgorging paint-filled eggs from her vagina.  "Lest fair-goers mistake Moiré’s art for a burlesque show," Crocker continued, "the artist’s statement clarified that 'PlopEgg Painting' was in fact a manifestation of 'the creation [of] fear, the symbolic strength of the casual and the creative power of femininity.'" Crocker actually doesn't think very highly of Moiré's "Mirror Box" performance—but surely there's some American adult entertainer somewhere who'd be willing to take on a similar project—perhaps even on the streets of Los Angeles? Or maybe at AEE? One thing's for sure: adult content fans will be waiting anxiously for such an appearance.

 
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