Milo Moiré Jailed in London for Inviting the Public to Touch Her Body
'You have the chance to touch the box...and feel free,' she said.
Artist Milo Moiré returned to public attention with a series of recent “Mirror Box” performances in Dusseldorf, London, and Amsterdam, whereby passersby above the age of eighteen were invited to reach in through reflective compartments and touch her genitals or chest for thirty seconds.
“My name is Milo Moiré, I’m a performance artist, and I stand here for women’s rights and sexual equality,” Moiré is heard announcing through a loudspeaker in the video below. “We have the same sexual appeal as men have,” she continued, “but we decide when we will be touched, or not. Today, you have the chance to touch the box for thirty seconds and feel free. It doesn’t matter if you’re a woman or a man.”
In a statement about the project, Moiré says “Mirror Box” draws its inspiration from and pays homage to Austrian performance artist Valie Export, whom the artist credits as “already fighting for women’s rights in the 1960s through artistic actions.” In 1968, for example, Export performed “Touch Cinema,” where the artist stood on a street in Vienna with a Styrofoam box covering her breasts. Like Moiré, Export allowed passersby to reach in and touch her chest.
However, her traveling show was met with little resistance until local police in London detained her for 24 hours. According to Dazed, which first reported the artist’s arrest, Moiré sees her detainment as an “example of the lack of unity” in Europe, adding that “laws within the continent should be regulated uniformly.” These statements arrive just as the British public votes for or against Britain exiting the EU. Artists around Europe have been vocal about the vote, with celebrities also supporting the cause.
Between an unauthorized performance at Art Basel last summer; a series of naked selfies with the Eiffel Tower last fall; and a naked performance protesting sexual assault in Cologne earlier this year, Moiré’s latest project fits right into her record of testing the legal limits of her practice.
As Moiré writes in her statement: “The audience’s reflection on the mirrored box simultaneously becomes a visual metaphor for the role reversal from voyeur to the object of view: a constant play of inversions analogous to our roles in the digital world.”
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