Sidsel Meineche Hansen

Dick Girl

sidsel-meineche-hansen-dick-girl

source: labourpowercouk
Sidsel Meineche Hansen is hacking the pornographic body. POST-matter, review by Hannah Gregory
SECOND SEX WAR Explores The Limits And Freedom Of Our Bodies In Virtual Reality. The Fader, interview by Ryan Ormonde
War by any means. Mute Magazine, Rose-Anne Gush examines Sidsel Meineche Hansen’s Second Sex War through the lens of the female body and its concealed labour power in the high-tech gaming and porn spectacle
Hacking the self: Sidsel Meineche Hansen’s INSIDER. Reviewed by Helena Vilalta
Emotional Reasoning. Mousse Magazine #44, interview by Anna Gritz
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source: thefader
The allure of virtual reality lies in its possibilities for escape and exploration, to exist—if only fleetingly—in a world free from the physical parameters imposed on you by biology and genetics. However, when you lock into virtual reality via hardware such as Oculus Rift, you substitute your flesh and blood for a virtual body designed by a digital media company. As such, the sum of characteristics and behaviors that make up a given avatar is limited by the assumptions and prejudices of its content creators. What does that mean for the ways in which the gender of a virtual body is presented? Is there any room for expression of sexuality and sexual orientation? While these questions often arise from a gaming context, what happens when we consider them in terms of another industry making serious inroads into virtual reality: pornography?

Originally from Denmark, Sidsel Meineche Hansen is a London-based artist who is interested in feminist and queer responses to gaming and pornography. Her new exhibition at the Gasworks art gallery in London is titled SECOND SEX WAR, a reference to the “sex wars,” an outcome of the 1982 Barnard Conference on Sexuality in New York, which caused a split in feminist debate between anti-pornography and anti-censorship arguments. The exhibition brings together works featuring EVA 3.0, an avatar Meineche Hansen purchased from a company that supplies 3D human models for a range of commercial uses, both in standard and immersive animation. Meineche Hansen worked with digital arts studio Werkflow Ltd to create video works that use EVA 3.0 to explore the artist’s ambivalent position within the “sex wars.” “No Right Way 2 Cum,” made in response to the British Board of Film Classification’s recent ban on female ejaculation in U.K. pornography, is a looped animated sequence of the character masturbating. The centerpiece of the exhibition is “DICKGIRL 3D(X),” a pornographic CGI animation presented via Oculus Rift. In this rendering, EVA 3.0—or, rather, you for the duration you have the headgear on—has a dazzling cyber phallus and is engaged in an ongoing sexual act featuring an amorphous and somewhat grotesque biological mass.
SECOND SEX WAR Explores The Limits And Freedom Of Our Bodies In Virtual Reality
A visitor experiencing “DICK GIRL 3D (X)” via Oculus Rift at Gasworks gallery. Photo by Andy Keate
To get to the Gasworks requires a circumvention of the high walls of The Oval, an internationally famous cricket stadium in south London. On the day I visit the gallery for a preview of the exhibition, my anti-clockwise route takes me past what seems to be an actual gasworks, before a side street reveals the pleasant, minimal exterior of the gallery itself. When I enter the first room of the exhibition space, a headset and headphones await me unassumingly on a vegan leather bean bag. Immersing myself in the virtual world of “DICKGIRL 3D (X),” with its aptly pulsating soundtrack, I find myself in another space with white walls, although these ones appear to be immaterial and infinite. In this world, my movements are synced to the actions of a fantastical and relentless sexual experience. There is a moment where my point of view somersaults, but for the most part I am being made to identify with an avatar with breasts, translucent skin, and a large penile appendage that seems to be harnessing some kind of electromagnetic current. I am EVA 3.0.

When I remove the headgear a few minutes later, I am disoriented yet again, this time by my return to the materiality and relative fixity of the gallery and my own body. Not long after, Meineche Hansen joins me on the bean bag to discuss SECOND SEX WAR.
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source: htrondheimkunstmuseumno
SECOND SEX WAR på Trondheim kunstmuseum er Sidsel Meineche Hansens første soloutstilling i Norge. Tittlen refererer både til den franske filosofen og forfatteren Simone de Beauvoirs bok Det annet kjønn (The Second Sex), og til de såkalte ‘sex wars’ – en debatt om pornografi som sjanger og industri, som splittet feministbevegelsen i henholdsvis anti-pornografi- og anti-sensur-grupper tidlig på 1980-tallet. Langs denne historiske linje vil SECOND SEX WAR utforske en ny cyber-feministisk posisjon rettet mot patriarkatet og den hvite dominansen som ligger til grunn for (re)produksjonen av det binære kjønnssystemet i virtual reality (VR).

Gjennom utstillinger, tverrfaglige seminarer og publikasjoner har Meineche Hansen satt kroppen og det kommersialiserte kroppsfokus ut i et queer-feministisk perspektiv. Til TKM-utstillingen presenterer kunstneren flere nye arbeider sammen med tidligere verk. Utstillingen inkluderer et stort relief, laserskårede tegninger, keramikk og en ny animert VR-produksjon som kan ses med virtual reality-brillene Oculus Rift.

I Meineche Hansens nyeste arbeider står den kvinnelige avataren ‘EVA v3.0’ sentralt. Det er et produkt som selges online av TurboSquid, et selskap som tilbyr 3D-modeller til dataspill og online pornoprodusenter. Meineche Hansen benytter EVA v3.0 både som hovedperson i sine egne animasjoner, og som objekt i sin utforskning av bruken av 3D-kropper i pornografisk filmproduksjon. Parallelt med dette omfavner estetikken i arbeidet hennes til skandinavisk ‘vandalisme’ som det ble definert av den danske kunstneren Asger Jorn (1914-73). Det kan i utstillingen på TKM blant annet ses i et stort relieff som kunstneren har skapt sammen med kuntnerne: Manuela Gernedel, Alan Michael, Georgie Nettell, Oliver Rees, Matthew Richardson, Gili Tal og Lena Tutunjian. Meineche Hansen arbeider med ideen om kollektiv med-skapelse, for å formulere den sosio-økonomiske dimensjonen ved online-sexarbeid, så vel som bruken av høyt utdannede og ufaglærte i produksjonen av samtidskunst.

Sidsel Meineche Hansen er utdannet ved Det Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi i København, Städelschule i Frankfurt A.M. og Goldsmiths i London. Hun er en London-basert kunstner som i dag også arbeider som førsteamanuensis ved Fyn Kunstakademi i Danmark. I 2015 var hun medredaktør på Politics of Study (London og Odense: Open Editions og Funen Art Academy), og vil være gjesteforsker ved CalArts i Los Angeles høsten 2016.

Hennes siste utstillinger inkluderer: SECOND SEX WAR Gasworks, London; NO RIGHT WAY 2 CUM, Transmission, Glasgow International, Glasgow; FLUXESFEVERFUTURESFICTION, Azkuna Zentroa, Bilbao; Liquid Identities – Lynn Hershman Leeson, Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg; Visceral Blue, La Capella, Barcelona (2016); Uncanny Valley, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge; Rehearsals in Instability, Andreas Huber Gallery, Wien; ONE-self, Temporary Gallery, Köln og Künstlerhaus Bremen (2015); INSIDER, Cubitt, London, Schizo-Culture: Cracks in the Street, SPACE, London; J’ai froid, castillo/corrales, Paris and Late Barbarians, Gasworks, London (2014).

Hennes siste seminarene er: What is an art work doing? (sammen med Andrea Fraser), Wattis Institute, San Francisco (2016); This is not a symptom, South London Gallery (2014–15); Methylene Blue diluted by Female Ejaculation, SPACE gallery, London; Why does Fred Sandbeck’s work make me cry?, Cubitt, London og If I Can’t Dance I Don’t Want to Be Part of Your Revolution, Amsterdam; og HIS HEAD, Gasworks, London (2014). Meineche Hansen har også de siste årene holdt kunstnerensamtaler på Serpentine Gallery og LUX i London; og på Witte de With, Rotterdam; og 98 Weeks i Beirut (2015).