A Mirror of Consent in Sexual Activity
Milo Moiré’s performance Mirror Box is a societal reflection of human sexuality. What happens when a woman puts her sexuality on public display, assertively takes the initiative and lays out clear rules for the intimate interaction? Performance artist Milo Moiré wears a trapezoidal skirt made up of mirrored surfaces; a rectangular opening at the front is closed off by a red curtain. With a megaphone she invites passers-by to reach into the opening for 30 seconds, in order to touch her vagina. “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”, declared the artist.
Milo Moiré has carried out the “Mirror Box Performance” in Düsseldorf, with the Bosom-Box, as well as in London and Amsterdam, with the Vagina-Box. She was arrested for “outraging public decency” during her art action on London’s Trafalgar Square. After spending 24 hours in jail, a judge sentenced her to pay a fine of €1300 and ordered her release.
Mirror Box performance was based on the Cologne attacks, and the discussion about respect toward women. “After the sexual assault on hundreds of women on New Year’s Eve in Cologne, it is important to internalize images that show women as equal sexual partners and not as victims,” stated the artist. 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. 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” can be seen as a further development of the tap and touch cinema (1968) by VALIE EXPORT. However, the artist Milo Moiré distances herself from the old subject and aims at the modern self-determination and progressive sexuality of women. Artivist 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 ventures along the boundaries of art and predictable morality.