Not often will random strangers in the street be invited to touch a woman's body. Not with her consent, anyway. But that all changed yesterday when Swiss performance artist Milo Moiré invited Londoners to grope her private parts for her latest piece.
The artist was swiftly arrested after performing her Mirror Box project in the British capital, which saw her walking around different cities in Europe asking randoms to put their hands into a reflective box and fondle her boobs or vagina for 30 seconds.
After declaring the performance is a "symbol for the consensual nature" of sex and other sexual activities, during the very first 'Mirror Box' demonstration, Moiré told crowds:
"I am standing here today for women’s rights and sexual self-determination. Women have a sexuality, just like men have one. However, women decide for themselves when and how they want to be touched, and when they don’t."
Many people have been getting involved in the artwork which is being utilised to promote female sexuality and sexual equality. The reflection of the mirrored box is also intended to induce the message of role reversal when it comes to traditional views of sex.
Despite the performance's obvious comments on consent, clearly the Met police didn't approve as much as the other places in Europe the artist took the act, such as Holland and Germany; a press release issued yesterday reports that Moiré was arrested shortly after the piece began in Trafalgar Square. She spent 24 hours in a prison cell and received a "4-digit fine".
But Moiré isn't new to nude protesting, or controversy for that matter, seeing as most of her work comments on the scrutiny of the female body. She's also the brave legend who protested after the Cologne New Year's Eve sex attacks by walking around the city nude holding up a sign which read Respect us! We are not fair game even when naked!!!
Although the brave artist is out of jail now, the fact she was punished for an act of protest against sexual violation only begins to show how intolerant we are in society of women's rights.
The artist has also used her arrest to comment on the state of Europe. While police during the performance in places like Amsterdam demonstrated their liberal attitudes – they only complained about the noise – the same can't be said of us. In a statement Moiré urges for Britain to "stay in the EU" because "Europe is like a big family" and "keeping Great Britain in the EU makes this family stronger".