Even if you are not familiar with the trend of vajazzling, you can probably imagine what it entails. Normally, we wouldn’t think of the ostentatious pastime as the pinnacle of feminism — you are, after all, doing to your vagina what a pre-teen does to her favorite denim jacket. And yet South African artist Frances Goodman claims her “Vajazzling Series” empowers the body, employs the female gaze and reclaims the practice for women across the world.
Goodman faces two big challenges here. The first is whether the thrust of the works can compensate for the gimmicky and possibly tasteless appeal of the exhibition. The second is whether the empowering message Goodman wants to impart can truly be evoked from one of the more insipid feminine trends today. Predictably, she is more successful in the first challenge than the second.