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Sex Machine (2019)

The sexual alchemy of Wynnie Mynerva 

For more than three years Mynerva has developed a political investigation on the plastic possibilities of sexuality and the body. Throughout 2018, the artist 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. 

In the same way, in their drawings or sculptures the bodies usually appear connected to artisanal tongs, milk pumps, clocks or electrical utensils, building symbiotic landscapes that erase the difference between the human and the technological, between the organic and the inert. The artist challenges the conventional erotic experience usually understood from a purely human and heterosexual logic, inviting us to invent gadgets that induce us of expanding our affective and sensory experiences. As if she were a sexual alchemist, Mynerva tells us that any second-hand object can become a device for therapy and body re-education, showing us its possibilities of experimentation and collective use. Who enjoys? Seems to be the question that surrounds all these works: the machine, the body, or the dildo? 

Miguel A. Lopez