For me, art is life.
As feminist I’m concerned primarily with women as a theme, or showing the ways women are discriminated against in our patriarchal society. I got two great themes in my artwork: gender role plays and menstruation.
I play with masculinity and womanliness to show the construction of both. As feminist I critique gender-stereotyping and sexism. I work also against intolerance, racism, xenophobia, misogyny and anti-semitism.
I use my own menstrual blood to make informel and monochrome pictures. Menstruation is a stigmatic condition (Ingrid Johnston-Robledo | Joan C. Crisler). Women are regarded as of lesser value, as the Other (Simone de Beauvoir). I’m concerned with showing this mechanism and at the same time with undermining it.
By using menstrual blood I draw attention to the negative taboo and publicly show something that is usually kept secret – everything is done to make the time of menstruation as invisible as possible. Cleanliness and discretion are foremost. The leaking women were seen as unclean. I called a serie of pictures „That’s the blood I’ve spilled for you”, the other simply “Menstruarte”. “Hidden Abject” shows blood through a small cut in the canvas. I try first through the completed abstract structure of the menstrual blood to make the viewer aware of the theme, and second, I use the aesthetic work to reverse the negative value. Menstrual blood is abject: “Not me. Not that. But not nothing, either” (Julia Kristeva).
Since 2015 I make co-work with Israeli artist Ophira Avisar (”Monthruation”, Film, Performances).
Learn more about Petra Paul http://www.petrapaul.beep.de
Have a beautiful day!