The Gender Bender 2017 transpired over the weekend of September 9th and 10th at the Goethe-Institut Bangalore/ Max Mueller Bhavan. Co-organised by Sandbox Collective and supported by The Ladies Finger, the event featured the works-in-progress of 10 artists selected from a pool of 120 applicants. One of them was Arunima Bose.
An artist and an illustrator, Arunima’s installation at the exhibition, unlike most conventional ones, invited the attendees to come close, freely touch and get an intimate feel. The multiple pieces of ‘In Full Bloom: Playing With Pleasure’ showed the form of the vulva, with all panels created out of different materials – sanitary napkins, tampons, wires, cushiony tassels, and more. Also included was a fish bowl full of hay with a wet earth core, and a chandelier created out water-filled condoms.
In this pre-event interview with RJ Shruti Sharada, Arunima detailed her inspirations and expressed some doubts over what sort of response to expect. But she needn’t have worried. The attendees at the event required exactly zero cajoling when it came to feeling the panels and discussing them. Maybe, all that the conversation about self-pleasure needs is more art pieces that lay it all out there and challenge you to question the shame.
Written by Shruti Sharada.