Sophia Wallace and the Quest for #Cliteracy

by Katie Fustich


Envision this: a giant, solid-gold clitoris suspended on a spring, rodeo style. Women and men ride it, dance around it, and are generally just happy to be in its awe-inspiring presence. No, this isn’t that awesome dream you had last Tuesday, it’s just one of the many features of artist Sophia Wallace’s latest project: Cliteracy. A little more than ten years ago, the human race had only a vague notion of the scientific workings of the clitoris (shout out to my girl, urologist Helen O’Connell!). Now, one woman is taking it upon herself to make sure everyone knows.



Earlier this month, Sophia Wallace spoke to the Huffington Post about her project, which features not only the aforementioned clit-turned-mechanical bull, but also posters, graffiti, and installation pieces. “I wanted to talk about female genitals in a way that I felt wasn’t really being talked about,” she said. “[Cliteracy] illuminates this idea of total illiteracy and incompetence when it comes to the female body.” Her words ring painfully true in a world where the clit, aka the only part of the body solely functioning for pleasure, is still an element of sexuality considered taboo for so many.



Though Sophia Wallace’s past work, primarily video and photography based, has been featured in numerous galleries of renown, her aim for this project was for it to exist in anything but a white, fluorescent-lit room. Posters with slogans like “Freedom in society can be measured by the distribution of orgasms” can currently be seen covering the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn. The walls of the internet have also acted as her canvas: Social media has brought Wallace’s campaign for Cliteracy to an entirely new level. Both Tumblr and Twitter are riddled with #cliteracy posts, broadening this already extremely important discussion about female sexuality even more. And for Wallace, that is the ultimate goal: after 200,000 years of human existence, to finally have the long-awaited dialogue between the clitoris and the world.



In the works? Plans to take the project to a global level. “After all, who needs an ad campaign more than the clit?” she wisely notes. I, for one, can’t think of any better answer to that question.



Thanks to the Huffington Post.

All images and video via Sophia Wallace

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