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Genpei Akasegawa

Sheets of Vagina Second Present

Information about the artwork

  • MaterialRubber, aluminum, glass, vacuum tubes, wood, etc.
  • Dimensions91 x 182 cm
  • On viewCurrently not exhibited
  • Copyright© Genpei Akasegawa, Courtesy of SCAI THE BATHHOUSE, with thanks to Naoko Akasegawa. Photo: Otani Ichiro

More about the artwork

The relief by the Japanese artist Genpei Akasegawa is equally impressive for both its size and itsmateriality. He created an object of almost overwhelming physicality using blood-red inner tubes fromthe tyres of a truck that were cut open and sewn back together, and to which a hubcap and vacuumtubes were applied. The title “Sheets of Vagina (Second Present)” refers explicitly to the female sexualorgan. Originally, hydrochloric acid dripped from a long pipette, integrated into the work, onto an object below. The female sexual organ—the point of contact between inside and outside—had beenreplaced by leaking machine parts. “Sheets of Vagina” consists of waste products, suggesting thesurplus of Japan’s economic expansion during the 1950s and 1960s. Yet for all the changes in Japanese society, freedoms relating to sexuality and procreation continued to be suppressed. Abstractenough not to invite censorship, the fleshy materials and forms in Akasegawa’s work are all the morecharged, testifying to an alien, machinic productivity.

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