Meet Casey Jenkins, the feminist performance artist - or 'craftivist' as she prefers to be known - taking the internet by storm with her latest work 'Casting Off My Womb', where she spends 28 days knitting from her vagina.
Yes, you read that correctly. Vaginal knitting.
"I'm spending 28 days knitting from wool that I've inserted in my vagina," Casey explains. "Everyday I take a new skein of wool that's been wound so that it will unravel from the centre and I stick it up inside me... and then I pull out the thread and knit."
The piece, dubbed 'Vaginal Knitting' by Australian TV channel SBS2Australia, hopes to break down boundaries surrounding a taboo subject: the female genitals.
"If you take a good, hard look at a vulva, you realise it's just a bit of a body. There's nothing that is shocking or scary... nothing that is gonna run out and eat you up," she says.
The performance hopes to be an honest exploration of the female body and an unflinching demonstration of its capabilities - Casey admits that the knitting can be arousing at times and vows to not stop knitting, even when her period comes.
"The performance wouldn't be a performance if I were going to cut out my menstrual cycle from it," she reasons.
"I hope that people question the fears and the negative associations they have with the vulva," Jenkins says.
So far, so liberating. While Casey's intentions may be solid, but does the message of such a daring piece of work risk getting missed among the shock tactics - lost somewhere in a pool of menstrual blood?
While some reactions on Twitter commend Casey's work, the majority are a mixture of ridicule and disgust...
"Feeling extremely disturbed after watching a 'vaginal knitting'" tweets @jessjessxo.
— jessjessxo (@jessjessxo) December 3, 2013
"Vaginal knitting...? is this what you call thinking outside of the 'box'?" writes @TanglewoodThick.
Vaginal knitting...? is this what you call thinking outside of the "box"? http://t.co/oJnBKWdlBc
— Kasey Sorsby (@TanglewoodThick) December 3, 2013
The mixed reactions are true too among the media, with publishers often poking fun or adopting a questionable turn of phrase.
News 24 tweeted 'Woman does extreme knitting Down Under', while The Mirror's headline was less than tactful: 'Artist shoves ball of wool up her VAGINA to knit with it for a month'.
Gawker offers a balanced view of the work: "Is it cutting-edge art in 2013? Perhaps not. But it's still jarring. And perhaps its power lies in the fact that the same feminist themes and visuals that shocked us in the '60s and '70s still shock us today."
What do you think of Vaginal Knitting? Let us know in the comments below
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