Hannah Wilke


Laundry Lint 1973 Fabric

I am interested in Wilkes use of domestic materials; Clay, Fabric to create sculptures but also using unconventional materials like chewing gum to create synthetic vaginas.

Laundry lint and others of similar nature have a vulnerability and fragility about them – They are also enticingly beautiful, the opposite to how they are thought of.

Fork and Spoon 1974

There’s almost a juxtaposition of the two materials – organic and synthetic. Crossing the materials, kneaded eraser is synthetic but is used to create organic looking pieces. There is a strength in the synthetic materials chosen – they cannot be destroyed easily.

hannah-wilke-9 (1)
Untitled (single gum sculpture) 1976

Her vaginal forms are never ugly looking, they don’t repel you. They almost make you want to look closer or even touch them. She’s creating a positive outlook for something that is thought of as ugly and should repel you.

Using malleable (easily manipulated) materials such as chewing gum – relates to cultural notations of femininity. How men think of women is determined by what other men think or how they were brought up, the same happens in politics etc. Women are easily manipulated because of this power men think they have over us.

The materials she uses and the way she uses them are easily manipulated to create the forms she wants. She is specifically manipulating the materials to represent the manipulation of women.





2 thoughts on “Hannah Wilke”

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