West Hollywood, a city known for its gay male culture (and the explicit sexuality that comes with it) clearly is showing some gender diversity.
There were those sold out performances of the “Vagina Monologues” at the City Council Chambers on Feb. 17 and 18, performances featuring well-known locals such as lesbian activist Ivy Bottini, City Councilmember Lindsey Horvath and former Councilmember Abbe Land. And tomorrow there will the installation of a large and bright uterus on the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Sweetzer Avenue at the Standard hotel.
Unlike the penile symbols that occasionally were screened in the front window of the former Andrew Christian store on Santa Monica Boulevard, the giant uterus is actually a work of art. The artist is Zoë Buckman, a Londoner who has lived in New York City for 11 years.
The installation is a neon uterus with large fiberglass boxing gloves in place of the ovaries. Buckman calls the project “Champ.” In an interview with Los Angeles Magazine, which first published news of the installation, Buckman said she had come to realize that “politically, as women, we were under threat, and that there was-and is-a war on us. There was a lot to fight for, and a lot that needed defending.”
She decided to use her art as activism. It was while she was training at a boxing gym that Buckman was inspired to integrate that boxing, which was “getting me in touch with my masculine, testosterone-heavy side,” into her art.
The result was a work called Champion, made with actual boxing gloves. According to Los Angeles Magazine, Buckman’s decision to create boxing glove images from fiberglass makes it possible for Champ to be a much larger installation.
She said she decided to use warm white neon light for the uterus because “I wanted it to draw you in, and I wanted it to be empowering and healing and beautiful.”
Tomorrow’s installation comes just before Women’s History Month, which begins on March 1. It will be up for a year.
The installation is a presented by Art Production Fund at The Standard, Hollywood with support by alice + olivia by Stacey Bendet.