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Social Art: CLITERACY, 100 Natural Laws

Social Art: CLITERACY, 100 Natural Laws


Statement by the artist, Sophia Wallace (via Tumblr):

CLITERACY, 100 Natural Laws is mixed media project that explores a paradox;  the global obsession with sexualizing female bodies in a world that is illiterate when it comes to female sexuality. CLITERACY is a new way of talking about citizenship, sexuality, human rights, and bodies. The project reveals the – phallic as neutral – bias in science, law, philosophy, politics, mainstream and even feminist discussion, and the art world – which is so saturated with the female body as subject. Using text as form, CLITERACY explores the construction of female sexual bodies as passive vehicles of reception defined by lack. It confronts a false body of knowledge by scientists who have resisted the idea of a unique, autonomous female body and rather studied what confirmed their assumption that women’s anatomy was the inverse of male anatomy, and that reproduction was worthy of study, while female sexuality was most certainly not. In the last ten years there have been tremendous scientific breakthroughs in the understanding of the clitoris. The clitoris is exponentially larger and more complex than commonly thought. What we think of as the clitoris, is only the tip of the iceberg.  While this discovery is shocking in it’s late arrival, the problem of global ILLCITERACY is a salient allegory into the bigger problem of a female body, both cis and trans female, constructed by men, with false information, the goal of control and a culture that defines femaleness as inferior and female sexual organs as taboo. CLITERACY builds upon my photographic practice and ongoing exploration of how power shapes knowledge, often through use of the visual, for the purpose of social control.

CLITERACY is monumental in scope and scale with 100 Natural Laws that span 10 by 13 feet and a 6 foot neon piece suspended from the ceiling.  CLITERACY, 100 Natural Laws was completed during my Van Lier Fellowship in the Art Law Residency.


It’s unfortunate that a statement about sexual literacy has some awkward typos in it, but that’s splitting hairs. Ms. Wallace’s celebration of the uniquely female pleasure organ is both politically and socially important in the “Year of The Vagina.”

(Although I would like to add that there are a few men out there who try to give the clitoris the respect it deserves.)

Here is more of the project (via CLITERACY search on Tumblr):


cliteracy natural law no. 7

Exhibition details:

CLITERACY 100 Natural Laws
Scenes a Faire Art & Law Residency Exhibition
On View: Oct. 5-21 at Dumbo Art Center
Artist Talk: Sophia Wallace Oct. 16, 7-8:30pm at Dumbo Art Center
111 Front Street, Suite 212, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Tel 718-694-0831 Email
Gallery Hours: 12 – 6pm Wednesday – Saturday, 12 – 5PM Sunday

You can see more work at her Facebook page.

Sophia Wallace (artist)
Sir Richard’s Condoms (Facebook page)

I am Creative Director at Acart Communications, a Canadian Social Issues Marketing agency. Read more
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