Vanessa Beecroft Art
Vanessa Beecroft persuades women to pose naked in public. Her critics accuse her of exploiting women. Her fans praise her as a bold and daring feminist. Either way, the queues to see Vanessa Beecroft’s VB55 performance in Berlin in 2005, were extremely long – hardly surprising, one suspects, given that the art on offer involved 100 naked women. There were discussions if the show amount to anything more than soft porn for intellectuals.
“It’s not a concept that can be easily explained. I would say it includes embarrassment, shame, violence and abuse. There is a feeling of embarrassment, no matter if the viewer is a man or a woman,” Vanessa Beecroft says. She confirmed that she were embarrassed on her own performances. For VB55, ordinary women aged 18 to 65 were chosen, rather than professional models; the artist also used more women than ever before. Their hair colours – red, yellow and black – were picked to allude to Germany’s flag. The women were wearing see-through pantyhose.
The location for the performance was well chosen. The modernist New National Gallery or Neue Nationalgalerie was designed by Mies van der Rohe, and is one of Berlin’s most prestigious buildings. It is completely transparent – allowing passers-by to stare at a lot of naked women. A pleasent surprise for many guys – I guess.