For more than three years Mynerva has developed a political investigation on the plastic possibilities of sexuality and the body. Throughout 2018, Wynnie Mynerva devoted herself to the meticulous production of a material file of sexual organs, translating genitals of various people to polychrome plaster. Her collection of sculptures worked like a reflection on the heterogeneity of the anatomical variants but also suggested the prosthetic dimension of gender. In this project, entitled Sex Machine, her work continues this exploration but taking a leap from the naturalistic representation of sexual differentiation towards a signaling of sexuality as a technology.

“This project begins with the introduction of a dildo to my vagina,” explains Mynerva. Like other processes that arise from feminism, the artist developed Sex Machine as a situated investigation that underlines that the production of knowledge cannot be detached from the body on subjectivity of the person who issues it. Her body became a lighting rod of sensations mobilized from her physical relationship with the dildo (different forms of orgasm, new masturbation techniques, recognition of other body power), which exceeded the stimulation of so-called natural sex. Focus attention on the dildo allowed her, first, to rethink and undo the social mandate of the heterosexual contract (and the reproductive logic of the sexual act), and then, to question the false need of male bodies to celebrate sexual pleasure.

Questioning the place of phallic authority (and therefore of men) is not a minor exercise in a context like Peru – the land of misogyny – where women are harassed, assaulted and murdered daily. Mynerva underlines the unnecessary, redundant and replaceable condition of the penis, as if it were a clumsy puppet that has not been invited to the party. In her sculptures and installations the artist rehearses infinite possibilities to turn any element into a sexual object, claiming not only the control of her desires but also locating erotic pleasure beyond the merely genital. Faced with the patriarchal logic that seeks to confine women’s sexuality to the private sphere, the artist opposes a laboratory of dissident excitement through simple and handmade technologies that she joins with her hands.

One of the main pieces of the exhibition is a baby-dildo, with which he held the workshop “How to enjoy your dildo-baby” in 2018. Mynerva reverses the logic of suffering, for satisfaction. With the premise that “if a baby is going to produce pain when leaving, it can give pleasure when entering”, she produces a dildo from plastic baby that disturbs the imaginary purity associated with motherhood. Her inquiries employ different means, such as watercolor, with which she draws a female body turned into a calving machine, but she is not explicit if the babies – represented in a production line – are finally emanated or absorbed. The works even seem to refer to alternative medical practices – other than hospitalization and conventional obstetric preparation – that claim to understand childbirth as a sexual act, where masturbation allows to inhibit the pain of childbirth.

Mynerva also recycles other machines such as stationary bicycles or artifacts to assemble shoes, to which it adds soft textures that activate erogenous areas of the body. Another of his pieces is a living sculpture of two naked women, with sensors connected to their bodies, which play chinese checkers in the exhibition.It subverts an emblematic masculine image of art history, where Marcel Duchamp plays chess with a naked woman, suggesting a lesbian dimension (or an eroticism not dependent on men) where chess power structures are replaced by a chip game without hierarchies of one over another. Sex Machine combines objects derived from medical control, sports discipline, fitness culture (and its forms of vigilance on the female body), BDSM culture codes (bondage, domination, submission, masochism), among others, underlining how all these techniques are places that produce subjectivity.

Miguel A. Lopez

Installation view in the room.
Metal sculptures, readymades, canvases and happening
Peru, 2019

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