Performance Artist Reenacts the Painting ‘The Origin Of The World’

Following on from our previous post where a performance artist was restrained, force-fed and injected with cosmetics in a high street shop window as part of a hard-hitting protest against animal testing (see HERE), another performance artist has gone to great lengths to make a point.

Background: if you’ve ever gazed into the beautiful void that is Gustav Courbet’s “The Origin of the World”, you’re probably familiar with just how provocative (and NSFW) the painting is.

As the title cleverly references, it is a portrait of the female genitalia, through which all human beings enter into life. Combining the romance of realism and the lustful voyeurism of erotic art, it’s, well, heavy stuff.


So, you can only imagine what would happen if someone – let’s say, a daring performance artist – attempted to reenact the racy anatomic still life from 1866… in front of an audience of museum patrons assembled at Paris’ Musée d’Orsay to see Courbet’s masterpiece face-to-face.


Do you have a clear picture yet? Now compare that to the video below, in which Luxembourgian artist Deborah de Robertis actually transforms painting into performance, by revealing her own vulva in front of some surprised passersby. Just watch (and remember, it’s not safe for work):

According to Le Monde, the racy act took place on May 29 at the Musée d’Orsay’s Room 20. De Robertis entered the room in a gold sequin dress and proceeded to expose her own “L’Origine du monde” to a crowd of unsuspecting security guards and applauding gallery goers. The artist was eventually taken away by police and, as Artnet reports, the museum and two of its guards subsequently filed sexual exhibitionism complaints against the bold woman.

This is a typical case of disrespecting the museum’s rules, whether for a performance or not,” the Musée d’Orsay’s administration said in a statement published in Artnet. “No request for authorization was filed with us. And even if it had been, it’s not certain we would have accepted it as that may have upset our visitors.”

De Robertis feels differently. “If you ignore the context, you could construe this performance as an act of exhibitionism, but what I did was not an impulsive act,” she explained to Luxemburger Wort. “There is a gap in art history, the absent point of view of the object of the gaze. In his realist painting, the painter shows the open legs, but the vagina remains closed. He does not reveal the hole, that is to say, the eye. I am not showing my vagina, but I am revealing what we do not see in the painting, the eye of the vagina, the black hole, this concealed eye, this chasm, which, beyond the flesh, refers to infinity, to the origin of the origin.”

To be fair, de Robertis claims she’s performed “Mirror of Origin” more than once in the Paris museum, without causing hysteria. And it’s not the first time that an avid student of art history has opted to demonstrate the sincerest form of flattery by imitating a famous work of art. Just last year, a 26-year-old known as Arthur G stripped down to his birthday suit in front of the Musée d’Orsay’s parade of male nudes, “Masculin/Masculin.”

As the Guerrilla Girls pointed out in the 1990s, less than 5% of the artists in the Modern Art section of New York’s Metropolitan Museum were women, but 85% of the nudes were female. Does it take a nude performance artist disrupting a casual day of museum revelry to make the world notice? Let us know your thoughts on de Robertis’ performance in the comments.

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  1. the Vatican is full of paintings with women topless, yet try as a women to get in there now topless :)))
    the world we’re living in

  2. I liked the times that art required a language. Language of sounds, colors, shapes to express ones true feelings. An actual feeling, a sensation. Nowadays some rich stupid kid shows a meaningless vague exhibit and people argue about what it means.

  3. …we are all savages living in dark stupid ages… In the future will all this hoopla about body parts seem so dumb. All this religion, censorship, and small mind outrage about nothing of significance at all. All we do is teach our children to be constantly scared, prudish, worried and insecure. It’s good for the shrink industry, and big phrama but the society is all kinds of fucked up and sad. Not easy to remain happy with people like that around…

  4. What she did was wrong! full stop, we have rules and laws to protect people, whether you agree with them is irrelevant, you still have you abide by them, one important issue has been ignored here and it has to with permission and consent, first one is given permission to enter the gallery and secondly you have given consent to view the listed items, she forced herself on the public without their permission or consent, whether it is a art gallery or not makes no difference if an act is spontaneously carried out without the viewers consent, then it is a breach of the peace, if a man walked in with an erect penis would you apologists still be so forgiving especially if children were around, I very much doubt it. Time to grow up young lady and you others.

  5. What I don’t like is that she didn’t have permission. People go to that museum to see famous works of art by skilled artists that inspire many, or at least controversial art that made an impact. Just because she had something to say doesn’t mean she belongs there. Not every tribute and reconceptualization the Mona Lisa should get hung in the louve.

    I guess there’s more: She isn’t seated like the original, and unlike the original, she has eyes. The original permits you to gaze unrestricted upon a ‘taboo’ subject in isolation, and invites you to contemplate the perspective of the title. The artist came in with a shiny gold dress, sat down, spread her legs in a totally different fashion, and stared at people. She says her intention was to reveal the eye of the vagina, the missing element of the original, but much of that is lost amidst flash and glitter, and the confrontational nature of a performance that looks at people and talks. It feels like the primary intention was to be seen, and to invite trouble from authority, on camera, as part of a statement on puritanical viewpoints of the body. Most people do not see this and think about or discuss the vaginas as the origin of the world. I applaud fighting for freedom and acceptance of the body, but protest isn’t art just because you sit in a gallery.

  6. I would have walked out personally. I don’t see how flashing your vagina in public is art; it’s a private part of your anatomy that shouldn’t be gotten out in public just to make a ‘performance’. I agree, if it was a penis I would have the same reaction. It has nothing to do with feminism or a woman’s right to expression, it just isn’t social behaviour.

  7. if find that spreading her lips turn this from artisctic exhibition to a vulgar exposition. it wastes the action and the commentary a demonstration instead of a meaningful performance. reproducing live the canevas would have fitted perfectly with the words “i m the origin of the world but you didnt see me” and now you see and cant ignore me

  8. At 16 I went to an Art college in London and studied still life. Every week a nude model both male and female of all ages 18-60 would display themselves completely nude for us to draw. This is art in its most basic and truest form. To unallow this is ridiculous!

  9. i spose, but its not about sexism, if i took my penis out id get arrested, there wouldnt even be time to film it, plus id get called a pervert and a pedo and probably a predator, all ‘p’ words yo

  10. How the hell is some tart getting her twat out in public considered art? Maybe i’ll get naked in front of the statue of David. Would that be “art” too?

  11. well, a real vagina, or penis, are not quite the same as painted ones…… Really i dont see any importance or criativity in the artist performance. the painting is so much more beautifull and powerfull image than the vulgar and literal action of the artist. she didnt understood that she just finished with the mistery and meaning power of the vagina itself as Courbert very well knew how to expose and celebrate. the explanation she said of ” I am revealing what we do not see in the painting, the eye of the vagina…..” its just not needed, it just cut the mistery and power and turns all so ridiculous and poor.

  12. Considering the graphic and realistic nature of the painting that the museum proudly displays, and the total lack of eroticism in her actions, it seems to me that they could better have responded by:

    1) positioning guards at the door of this small gallery–simply to caution people regarding what she was doing therein, thus avoiding her shocking anyone with delicate sensibilities.

    2) offered her a cushion, as the floor is undoubtedly hard, and

    3) asked her if she would like a bottle of water.

  13. i understand that it’s “art”. And art is basically anything that you want it to be. Personally i don’t understand this kind of…statement. Some people say that “whats the big deal of having a girl showing her vagina when there’s a painting of a vagina?….the vagina is completely natural and shouldn’t be offensive”. Just because it is natural doesn’t mean it has to be public. Sex is a natural thing but it doesn’t mean that people should be having sex on the streets.
    i understand that art is always about being new and in order for something to be considered art it has to be different and out of the box. But i think now art is just “art”. People believe that something is art just because the artist says it’s art. For instance, Marcel Duchamp’s bottle rack. Completely unchanged yet it’s his art because he says it is. Yes okay it’s something that hasn’t been done before but how can you call it his art if it’s not even his? How can you call it an artwork?

  14. I’m no art critic, but I do go to an art gallery know that I will likely see paintings of nudes….what I don’t expect to see is a woman sit on the floor, open her legs and pull her vagina open so I can view ‘the hole’ in the name of art……

  15. The original was porn—read some anthropology for pete’s sake. Most men, everywhere and at all times, are massively driven to sneak peeks at the female junk, if they can. It’s programmed—that’s how the species survived. Courbet broke a longstanding taboo. But nowadays flashing yer junk live is just an excuse to grab some attention. Cloak it all in the latest art jargon. Courbet’s work maintained through the distance of the canvas, some of the elemental mystique that motivates us dudes, i.e., it is gorgeous. But watching some wannabe artiste thump down and spread her flaps, is more or less a bad take on a strip club routine. I mean she’s cute enough, but if yer gonna flash it baby, do it up right—no passive aggressive crap, give us the wanton-come-hither stuff we really want.

      1. Yes, when a man exposes himself in public he’s a perv, when a woman does so she is The Courageous Crusader. Equality when it suits them, victimhood when it doesn’t..

  16. If a man did this exact act he would immediately be arrested, flamed by the art community, mocked by feminists and maybe called a rapist for showing his “rape tool”, judged by the internet by his “size,” and would be convicted of nudity in public. He would also be sued by the museum. And how are women not privileged to be above the law?

  17. While I absolutely have nothing against displaying nudity in art, what I find disheartening is the double standards and dare I say hypocrisy of the modern feminist movement.

    Earlier in the year there was a big “to do” about an underwear clad male statue at the Wellesley College campus and the women there that apparently went nuts suggesting that a semi-nude male is somehow “triggering.” Apparently, censorship is just fine as long as the right thing is censored…and the semi-nude male is somehow gross, offensive, and dangerous while the nude female is something empowering and celebrated.

    If our goal is equality, that’s great…but then that means equality for all. Stereotyping the male form as gross, offensive, and dangerous is just as wrong as any stereotype against women.

  18. its not really art, or re-enacting a painting by sitting on the floor in a gallery holding your flaps open for all to see. this is just a protest. not art.

  19. This is not funny. Where the hell she left her pride. Art is about beauty, and this is awkward. And if this is beauty, then art is can’t be understood. What a classy way to show how crazy and pride-less it is.
    Damn, World is now crazy.. nobody is really know what they doing. Anyway, this have no benefit at all unless you have a odd kind of pleasure. Wtf

    Someone’s showing vagina, people applauded. Weird world.

  20. Had the museum operators not reacted the way that they had, I think her performance would have had much less impact. They basically proved her point and made her exhibit far more successful.

  21. The art piece was invited to be shown in the museum, she was not. This is not art, it’s another un talented artists need for attention. Performance art, what an absolute load of shit

  22. The fact that people are comparing this with rape is just ridiculous. The exposure of female genitalia in front of a painting of it is not inflicting any kind of physical pain upon anyone whereas rape is.
    I completely agree with what she was doing although I myself would not have had the courage to do it. If there is a vagina being shown in the museum behind her than what offense is she presenting to the unsuspecting audience. Yes it would have been shocking but not bad, it is a form of art and the people in the museum liked it as they even clapped for her.

  23. I think it’s people’s minds that are a problem..sick video games ..despicable torture and horrendous real life war crimes, bats an eyelid..this artist gets her bits out in public in the name of art..and there’s uproar ..dumb asses with half a very lonely brain cell.

  24. If She wasn’t a Beautiful Sexy Woman – would we feel different?
    Of Course..It would be completely unacceptable otherwise…. I Thought She Was Great! ENCORE….

  25. The performance artist correctly points out that the painting does not show genitalia, even though the writer of this article claims that it does. At least they refer to the genitalia as “vulva” instead of vagina; a mistake that most people these days–including women–make all the time.

  26. Why is everyone so scared of where we (humans) all popped out of?? It’s a pretty big task to hold you in there, and then push you out. Haters, be grateful!! Children are being raped all over the world, people are starving, the ozone layer is thinning…since you’ve got so much food and time, why don’t you make yourselves useful and help us and all our children live a few more years on this amazing Earth.

  27. A impressão que tenho é que qualquer BOSTA por mais ESCROTA que seja dependendo do lugar que for feita é considerada arte, outro dia tinha uma idiota injetando tinta dentro da vagina e expelindo essa tinta em um papel “é arte”.

  28. And this long thread of discussion is the reason why it is art folks…Its designed to provoke reaction and feelings through society – bravo

  29. It’s acceptable as art viewed on the wall in front of millions but not acceptable to show how the art was created??? Goes to show how sad society is.

  30. I’m not shocked with a woman spreading her pussy or hardcore performance anyway, but seriously, do you know Courbet’s «Origine du monde»? The woman on the Courbet’s painting is lasciviously lying down on a bed, she’s not spreading her vagina like this woman is. Her «performance» («exhibition» is the only right word for it) isn’t close in no way to the meaning of the painting and to its finesse. It much looks like a picture in an hardcore magazine, which is not sublimating the painting at all but just associating it with vulgarity, coarseness, scurrility. There’s a big difference between raw sex and erotism. An «artist» in need of reconnaissance? I think she didn’t properly attend to all her Art courses.

  31. Modern puritans and art snobs. Think of all the people passing this painting, looking ‘closely at the art’, enjoying the motif as well as the technique. This performer only shows what the model should’ve done. Oh, my God, she’s naked! … In a museum showing more nudity than a naturist beach in the summer. Get real, correct religious art snobs, and walk your talk!

  32. meh, some fat white pig wants to show her blood hole, how is this offensive?, That’s what the female instinct is, their whole life, from childhood to death, they can’t wait and need to show the male the cunt and waft the smell so sex can happen to make a baby, that’s life. Every female has this drive from ages 8 to 80, only some choose to make others pay to see and smell it, like in dating, marriage or prostitution, which is just blackmail and extortion, while others just accept it as this is what they are meant to do. If all women would just stay true to their nature and give it up for free there wouldn’t be any abuse. No need to praise the obvious

  33. Im not a french speaker, but in what i have undersood from the message (the realism painting and the story telling’senario’) is that the name of the painting ‘The Origin Of The World’, means without a women’s genitals there could be no human,’just explaining the meaning in my philosofical point of view’. But the question is what if there was no men genitals? The question repeats it’s self for women to, and so on. In my opinion,showing the genitals for a reason of society problems then their would be no problem,like sexisim, and many more society problems.

  34. Most of these “performance artists” (if you can cal them artists) need to be shot. They mustn’t be allowed to spread their seed.

  35. ademas: cuando habla de origen del mundo.. lo dice por la sociedad que conocemos o por el mundo como algo cosmico. la sociedad esta bastante jodida y como origen cosmico. bueno habria que ver si el big ban fue en simismo el origen o si el barbudo de sandalias que en todas las escenas sale en plano americano invertido ( del pecho para abajo) no le dio un dedazo!!! jajaja ( de repente me parecio un poco feminista la vuelta de tuerca) y sobre el origen social, bueno… los psicologos ganan bastante bien :P

  36. jajajaj hay millones de vaginas por todo el mundo, la mayoria de los hombres con mas de 18 años ya vieron algunas ( las mujeres porsupuesto todas tienen una), en internet esta lleno de pornografia mucho mas explicito que eso y por si fuera poco, los hipocritas que lo tildan de arte o las mujeres que lo ven como liberacion, no estarian de acuerdo en que alguien del otro sexo le muestre sus ” organos”sexuales a su pareja. sin decir mucho mas el atrte antes era sublimacion. mucho del arte de ahora son bobitos con plata que quiren llamar la atencion

  37. The most offensive part of all of this is that none of you knows the difference between a woman’s vagina and her labia.

    1. You didn’t read the article. Or watch the video very closely. The whole point was that she was trying to show the “hole” or “eye” i.e. the vagina.

  38. flonting your dick can land you in jail… but its not the offensive part that rubs me the wrong way, but the not inspiaring choise of music pretentios ass fuck. then we putt some statements in tekst… feels like some thing a art student would do. the standart of this preforments is not so high. don’t mind seeing the female part. but the execution is not so good…

  39. I think everybody is forgetting that the US views sex and sexuality in a totally different way from the rest of the world. It’s such a shameful thing in the states, but everywhere else, the human body and sexuality is a sensual and beautiful thing — often times described as art. I think Americans that have lived the “American lifestyle” all their lives need to leave their opinions out because we don’t live the lifestyle that views sexuality in a pure and beautiful form; promoting the simple beauty of the body. Geez. I hate the closemindedness of the US.

    1. Apparently we’re not too far different. The museum thought it vulgar enough to shuffle everyone outside of the gallery so as to not be able to see it.

    1. I am the origin. I am all the women. But you didn’t see me. I want you to recognize me, pure as water, (her being) creator of sperm.

      The simple fact that people called for exhibitionnism proves her right : exhibition has always a relation to sex, when obviously this woman tries to show anatomy and not a fantasized picture of it which is imcomplete. Sitting next to this painting, she’s only shocking people who like to look at the world through a magnifying glass.

  40. Meh…I think it would have been more relevant if her “reenactment” of the painting was an actual reenactment of the painting.

      1. Courbet still didn’t stroll around Paris his dingadong exposed for everyone to see. He used the literal meaning of the word art, from his ancient greek meaning of the techne, a product of human’s mind that defines humanity as something more spiritually and technically advanced than animals. That means that even though his aim was to shock, his art is still art, it’s a reproduction of the human body through the filter of art. What I mean is that art can act as a catalyst that receives products made by the artist, and turns reality into a reproduction of reality.

        Sitting down and showing your vagina in front of Courbet’s work is nothing more than a disrespectful act towards, firstly, Courbet, and secondly art in itself.

        It’s disrespectful towards Courbet because, on top of just shocking his contemporary time, he was also trying to elevate women as the source of all life, of all art, he thought women were worthy of being represented like on this painting because in his mind, the world itself is of a female nature. Painting a woman’s vagina with such details was a mean for him to say “This is not just a fucking vagina, this is where everything comes from and I wanted to show you guys how beautiful it is, and how proud I am of being able to draw something so meaningful”.

        It’s disrespectful toward art since this girl put art in service of her body. She uses art as a shield for the message she’s trying to show, when the artist should be in service of his art. Whatever message you are trying to expose with your art, you still have to realize that you have to focus first on the art and not on it’s meaning. Gauthier said once something like that : “Art should only be in the service of art”, while I don’t agree fully with this statement I see what he means when people all over the world are denaturing the very meaning of art and trying to only pass it around as another media tool. IT IS NOT.

        I understand the point that lady was trying to make. I do. I also get that today, in the 21th century, if you want to attract people’s attention for a cause, you have to do something that will make people talk about you. Apparently she succeeded on that account, and good for her.

        Just, please, don’t call this art. Call this a media success, call this a courageous act, call this whatever the hell you want except art because this is not.

        1. Just because you have quotes doesn’t make this the winning argument, that this is not art.

          It’s all orthodox gobbledygook. If you saw a point, we’ll there was a message to send, and if there’s a message there might be a presentation of it, say, perhaps a performance…hmmm, what category shall we put this one in…protest art?

          It seems as if you want to reduce this as attention seeking. Well if it is, it takes a certain self assurance and passion to seek this sort of attention from art critics…

          1. A performance is not a form of art in itself. It needs to have artistic inherent and obvious qualities that would qualify it as art. If we want to speak again with the etymology of the term in mind, a “performance” means a creation with an objective in mind, which is in the origins of the term a “formation”. People then elaborated on the term and went to believe, just like you, that any kind of “performance” is a form of art, when it can also encompass the performance of a factory, of an athlete, of an organ, of everything that moves and has a “point”, as in an objective.

            That is heavily relevant to personal perceptions of art. For you, a “performance” of someone showing her vagina in front of a real piece of art automatically becomes “art”. That’s your opinion, I’m not saying you are wrong nor am I saying you are right. That’s your opinion but why then should it be called “art” if that opinion is not universally shared ? We should be able to see something and say “that’s art”, not “I don’t think that’s art but it COULD be”. In that doubt, why the hell should it still be universally imposed as art in every fucking media and newspaper when it is, as you’ve just said, only a performance ?

            I absolutely don’t see anything that I’ve said that could be seen as orthodox, nor is it my intention to reduce what this person has done, nor the reason for which she has done it. I am only reacting to people like you calling everything shocking that hits the news “art” when it’s a media event. I’m not saying that what I qualify as a “media event” is inferior to “art”. Only that those two things are completely different things and my butt hurts when I see one being called with the other’s name.

            It painfully reminds me that on top of being able to turn a media hype event into whatever form of art they see fit, people from our generation can ALSO turn a real piece of art into a media tool. Here Courbet’s Origin of The World is not shown as a technical masterpiece, only as some vagina picture used to agitate people’s mind just like an advertisement would. That’s what bugs me.

            I understand making art that shocks, but shocking people and then explaining to them that it’s art looks just stupid to me. Just say that it’s a performance and that you want to carry a message, not that your body just became a freaking representation of an art without any technique and that everyone should accept it as art because “DUDE I’M NAKED IN FRONT OF A COURBET PAINTING HERE”.

            Thank you for your answer, it comforts me in my opinion on this new trend that magically transforms all people who disagree with this new kind of performance an outdated orthodox bigot.

            As a last word, I have to tell you since you obviously subscribe to that annoying internet fashion of ONLY reading what someone says instead of thinking about it for a while before answering like you would in a real life conversation : I do not think this kind of “attention seeking” is reduced when compared to art. I even think this kind of action is necessary to bring the attention people need to change things.

            We all are turning into close minded people, it’s a fact, this kind of stuff HAS to be done, people who care HAVE to shock our minds and make us think about why they do stuff like this, and what does it say about the importance of what they fight for.

            The Pussy Riot and even a disappointingly small minority of the FEMEN and countless but still too few others are the real thermometers of our time, they show us what is really going on around the world through the reaction of the people who try to silence them. I only draw MY line when those kinds of actions are acknowledged as something they are not, like art. It’s more than art, it’s a social phenomenon that has everything of a scientific experience, and hence should definitely not just be considered as art but known as a true form of societal investigation.

            Showing your vagina or stuffing a raw chicken inside it like that Russian “performance artist” (or what she calls herself) did are parts of this societal investigation. (I believe the raw chicken part is a bit much but what the hell, the more shocking the better).

            Why consider those actions as art when it could have so much more impact as assumed sociological experiments ?

            PS : Oh yeah, concerning the citations, I think everyone here is smart enough to realize citations are “things said by people”. Which means they are not rules or holy commandments, if I used one it was only because it synthesized what I was trying to say and exposed as a citation because I do not usually steal words said by other people, dead or alive, to carry my own point across.

            Sorry for the lengthy posts, I’ve tried to make it shorter but it just turns out that way whatever I do …

          2. I really enjoy your honesty, your intelligence, and your passion. I speak similar when expressing things I belive in. A few things confused me as I was trying to understand your position. Attribution of purpose to Courbet, appealing to universal acknowledgement of art (especially ironic when the discussion includes a “technical masterpiece” (I agree) which is still referred to by many as pornography, and not art), and your dividing line for inclusion of performance art into the category of art (universal acknowledgement notwithstanding).

            I do really like your point about the artist being in service off the art. It resonated with me, and then made me think more about how there could be consistency with this idea as a foundation. The consistency, or maybe her viewpoint, is that the prior art of the female form (hers by birthright, possibly compounded by the artist’s intentional omission of a face) was hijacked and put in the service of someone’s art which diminished the original. The recursive re-contexting of the painting, the discussion created, the angst and turmoil, were catalyzed by someone taking a reproduction of reality and turning it into reality.

            My definition of art is different from most so maybe I am more accepting, but I don’t see the performance itself as the art. The social processes surrounding this event, the reframing (conceptually) of the canvass, even this discussion are the art.

  41. The problem is that the museum is a business and has the right to set standards of behavior on their property. They have a vested interest in not alienating their customers and had the right to remove her.

    I found the lady’s performance amusing as click-bait, but I don’t see any reason why the museum should have to tolerate it. It didn’t require any level of talent or effort and the work was completely derivative. She did the live action equivalent of randomly slapping paint on a canvas, claiming it’s an homage to the Mona Lisa and hanging it in front of the original. She’s not an artist if her work requires no ability, has no voice of its own and if it can’t stand on its own merits.

    If anything, it’s just an example of how masturbatory and pointless most performance art is.

        1. I’ve seen various flavors of nudity in the context of performance art many times in my 30 years as an adult artist. Some were outstanding, but, the art form crawled up it’s ass into cliche so quickly that the ’empowered female vagina that scares you’ bit is so overdone that a misdemeanor fine should be handed out just for that. I don’t fault anyone for reducing what she is doing to just sitting on the ground with here vag out.

          1. Well, she is not just sitting on the floor with her legs wide open, she have also put a tape with Shubert’s Ave Maria and her voice saying over and over again the same text, wich refers to The Origin of the world, and “why” she is showing her genital parts.

      1. A homeless guy waggled his dick at me once. How narrow of me to not understand his artistic message. And here I thought it was just schizophrenia or a need for attention.

      2. Yes yes, we know that ‘performance art’ can be planting a fake bomb at the Boston marathon, one year after three people were murdered and nearly three hundred injured. That’s ‘art’ is it? No, it’s just shock, same as this woman, instead of creating something herself, she’s using somebody else’s creation as a rung on her ladder.

    1. One might sorely disagree that dressing up for show and exposing ones self to the fullest in a museum, followed by being arrested, requires BOTH talent and effort. Did you happen to notice how many people applauded her? Most likely for simple entertainment purposes, but there were several women who persisted in applauding because they clearly extracted a statement out of the act of exhibition.

      1. “Did you happen to notice how many people applauded her?”

        Leaving aside the appeal to popularity fallacy, there’s no accounting for taste I guess.

        People applaud reality TV stars when they show up at engagements after all.

    2. If you understand what is said in the background of the video with the music, then you will understand that this has been prepared long time ago and that refers to L’Origine du monde.

      1. Yes, I’m aware of that…that’s why I called it derivative. It lacked talent or a voice. It’s also a display the museum that houses the painting did not approve, so they were well within their rights to remove her.

        1. I do not contest their rights, and I think that yes, they have done what was needed: one does not simply expose their genital parts to other without their agreement (I don’t know if my sentence sounds correct, sorry if I don’t use the right words ^^’). I ‘ve asked my relatives and the “funny” part of it is that no one have heard about it in France, I don’t think the story made the news, because it would have been a real buzz here!

          1. I understand what you’re saying…and no worries. :). I just didn’t think much of the quality of her “art” (although the painting is quite impressive in its realism)

  42. While no doubt this event happened, so much cries out “staged”. I mean, Vagina. Whoa… never seen one of those before on the internet. Everyone has to leave except the videographer? And who blurred the video? Why? They fucked up on so many faces blurring them after they were already sharp, etc… I dunno… just screams “Marketing” and “been there done that” from 1000 other artists.

    1. You can see the videographer also being pushed aside with the rest of the people. The faces are blurred because he probably did not want to get in trouble for posting their faces online without consent. The person who took the video blurred the faces.

      1. Watch again. Many faces are not blurred for the first 10th of a second which = LOL in the real world.
        The videographer was never removed from the room like everyone else.
        Again – probably happened – don’t see this as art. The art was on the wall. This was a personal agenda.

  43. she has a valid point. only the socially conditioned materialstic TV shaggin, newspapersd readin, bullshit beleivin people have a problem with expression of truth, coz they cannot handle the truth

    1. that’s what I think is the point of this performance – how a real vagina is still so offensive to society whilst the one that is from the male gaze’s viewpoint is so familiar and is viewed every day by hundreds and is ‘high art’

        1. What are you to judge what is art or not? Art is about exposure. It’s about showing ourselves to the world, she took this to a literal and it’s proving a point. It’s living art.

        2. welcome to the early 20th century where you still havent heard of the dadaists but you somehow live on a computer posting comments on how to police art

          1. hello internet police. nice to meet you. i wish i could know your real name but you seem to be to scared to use it

        1. Disagree with you there. If it were a guy this would be described as a lewd , laviscious mockery of performance art.

          This artist, sadly, is a sex offender.

          1. I see no sex there. Just a human body. How someone can be offended by human parts is beyond me.

          2. So your on the bus with your kid and some guy gets naked right next to you there’s no offense? By law she’s a offender.

          3. You fucking idiot there is a context here. Fuck use the 2 brain cells you have please

          4. Thank you, I was going to say something similar to him but you summed it up nicely. :)

          5. the point here it’s that if someone would be allowed to behave like that, then anyone is allowed to behave like that. Sometimes provocations are really weak and have no meaning at all. So now expect 100 people just sitting down in front of that canvas showing their stuff between legs everyday. For the sake of what? shocking people?? wow in 2014 you still need to shock people showing vagina in a public place?

          6. Your argument is called reductio ad absurdum; “a form of argument which attempts either to disprove a statement by showing it inevitably leads to a ridiculous, absurd, or impractical conclusion, or to prove one by showing that if it were not true, the result would be absurd or impossible.” The fact is there is zero chance that 100 people will do the same or even two for that matter. The fact this is still considered provocative and controversial proves it’s legitimacy… You might want to want or read “Shock Of The New” by Robert Hughes (BBC)

          7. @Corvus2
            I hope he and those thinking like him to get this simple point :)

          8. there is no context you fucking idiot, if she had been a listed item, then maybe, but she did it without consent just the same as if someone did it in public, I think you need to get a single brain cell , see I can throw insults about just like you, simple isn’t it, just like you.

          9. “questionner la place du maître en se positionnant en tant que versant féminin dans le rôle de muse pour tendre un miroir à celui (Gustave Courbet) qui historiquement l’aurait fait naître ” Deborah de Robertis about that perf.
            –> Questioning the standing of the master, by positioning oneself as the feminine equivalent, or the muse, so as to reflect his own image to the one who historically would have been at its origin

          10. If in that case you wouldn’t be able to compose yourself, your kid will not learn to either.

          11. By Law, it is illegal in US to sell peanuts in Lee County after sundown on Wednesday.

          12. she didnt show her vagina in bus. she showed it in gallery wich perform a picture of a vagina. what is difference between that painting and real vagina?

          13. Did you see painting? Now to real vagina, do you see ‘sublte’ differance between art (not so great anyway) and being vulgar? Yes vulgar and obscene, not controversial.

          14. Not to me. I think we should all be naked all the time(where wheather permits). If they started masturbating menacingly then I’d be offended.

          15. Totally agree…. and as for another comment, remember, ‘The law is an ass….’. I would add, and not a vagina.

          16. I have seen some laughable comments in my time, but this takes the cake.

            A sex offender is someone who 1. Exposes him/herself or 2. Sexually touches without permission
            NOT an artist showing her lady garden, when I am sure most people were well aware before they entered that she was there and what she was doing !!

            And if they were not aware – they knew the painting was there !!!

          17. So wait, I could claim to be an artist, announce that I’m gonna rape someone, then rape someone, then pretend I was an artist so I shall not be held accountable as a rapist, but praised for such an interesting, courageous act of art. Wtf?!

          18. No Darling. That would be rape. How is a woman showing her Vagina in front of a Vagina painting to knowing gallery goers the same as rape? Lord above.

          19. If you read the article you see that gallery goers did NOT know she was going to be there. It was NOT an announced performance, or even authorized by the museum. People WERE subjected to seeing it unknowingly, and that IS a form of sex offense. You can’t simply expose your genitals in a public setting because you want to make a statement. I couldn’t possibly care less if vulva or a penis are out in public, but we have a social contract that says there is a time and place when this is acceptable, and that if we are going to go somewhere where such things are on display we have a right to be notified in advance.

            Now I personally think people freaking out over such things is an overreaction, but there are people who WORK at that gallery. They make their INCOME there, and they have a right to go to work and not be exposed to real life nudity if that is their choice.They had NO foreknowledge that this was going to happen, and they have the right to be upset about it. We don’t get to define how people feel about the human body or it’s parts. What is ridiculous to you and I, or sexual or non-sexual or all of the above, may not be so to someone else. We don’t have the right to make that determination for others.

          20. if it i that offensive, why are they showing courbet’s work and make money out of it?

          21. If it was not authorized was she removed by police? I would expect the gallery owners called the them? I didn’t read the article, but if you read my comment you will see I did cover the eventuality that it was not advertised. ;)

          22. They applauded !!! This is not comparable to rape !!!!! Show me a person who has applauded after getting raped? Art is supposed to evoke a reaction I suppose. If you go to see a painting of a vagina you can’t be a prude.

          23. This is not a painting of a vagina. It’s not even a painting of a vulva. It’s a painting of a woman’s stomach, pubic hair and thighs.

          24. Innovative artist + evolved audience + knuckle-dragging “guards” + appreciative applause = You Tube exposure. Those who sought to block Deborah’s exhibit from view, those anxiously batting away camera phones, feigning faux concern and shock, valued controlling their turf over any artistic considerations…. Their predictably adolescent response reflects rampant,, persistent fear of “chaos and the unknown”. Brilliant.

          25. And no, I had not. However I did say if they were unsuspecting they still knew what painting they were going to see.

          26. I think some would argue that the fact that this was an unannounced “performance” makes it art all the more. Go figah.

          27. But the painting which is directly behind her (by a man, nonetheless) is ok??? I’m afraid you’re completely missing the ‘gist’ of this feminist conceptual/performance art? Also, nobody ever really studies or is advised on each work of art that is going to be displayed in a gallery before they go to said gallery.

          28. Are you a god damn moron?

            Rape is harm to another person physically.

            This woman touched no one not had them touch her. Go back to school.

          29. I’m afraid you’re the one who needs more schooling, as you’re clearly display yourself as the moron here by being totally unable to understand what he was actually writing.
            It was just an exaggerated response to make a point out how the one he was responding to acknowledged “exposing yourself” being a sex offender, but you’re suddenly not a sex offender if this is in the name of art.

            He compared this to another crime, rape, as suggesting that if you can justify one crime by doing it in the name of art, maybe you can justify another. Regardless of how silly it is to consider her exposing herself in this context an offence, it is on regardless, and claiming that you can justify it in the name of art is bullshit, hence the “rape” comment, which seemingly went waaaaaaaaaaay over your head.

          30. No. It did not go waaaaay over my head at all. In fact as you can see in posts below mine, many have the same interpretation I do.

            A woman who sits in an art gallery and opens her legs is raping or sexually offending no one UNLESS (and here is why you and the OP need more school) it is being done to sexually arouse herself at the expense of other people, which causes physical, emotional, or sexual harm against another, and is done against the will of another.

            A woman who walks the street naked can NOT be charged with rape or sexual offense unless but CAN be charged with lewd behavior. She, if the law is followed, should not be forced to register as a sex offender.

          31. How the fuck did you just compare this to rape? She didn’t assault anyone, she didn’t force anything on anyone, she didn’t hurt anyone. At the very worst she made a few people embarrassed, and hopefully they’ll ask themselves “why?” and come to the conclusion that they have nothing to be ashamed of.

            I don’t agree with what she did, I don’t find it artistic, but I still understand (I think) why she did it, and I do see value in the message.

          32. Well.. You could say that about the old guy showing his parts in the bus to the public as well. No assault, no force, no hurt, only a few people embarrassed and there could be value in his message as well depending on who is watching I suppose. It’s illegal for both.

          33. Context. If the old guy was in a gallery and exposed himself in front of a provocative
            painting by a female artist depicting a headless, limbless, flaccid
            penis after a long history of exploitative ‘female gaze’ then that might
            come closer to an actual similarity to your example.

          34. Here’s the difference … a gallery is not a public form of ‘transport’ … a bus is not some where people go to see art!!!
            … oh, and (rape) is an insane comparison Duh!

          35. What does that has to do with anything? She wasn’t violating anyone’s privacy.

          36. first and foremost it is indecent exposure and someone in front of you naked and a picture are two different things. Revealing your sexual organs in public without authorization is considered a sexual offense whether you are male or female.

          37. Probably as long as you get permission from the other party..If that’s your idea of art

          38. “am sure most people were well aware before they entered that she was there and what she was doing !!”

            Is that why the security guards who work there had no idea it was going to happen?

          39. Painting or real life….the painter and the artist were/are perverted. You can call anything art but that don’t make it so. Just two pervs letting everyone know they are pervs. Nudity is not art.

          40. For goodness sake, it’s a vagina and not any kind of garden. Stop beating around the, ‘aham’… bush.

            Calling vaginas silly, petty names like they need to be made innocent is ridiculous.

          41. you argue against yourself, she exposed herself in public, who says she’s an artist? anyone exposing themselves by your argument can claim artistic license, stupid woman!!

          42. What makes it a sexual offense, as opposed to a “lewd , laviscious mockery of performance art”? The fact that the “artist” is a woman? If so, then how so?

          43. You and aferplatanoides pathetically contradicted yourselves. A sexual offense may be categorized under lewd, lascivious acts (which indicate lustful/sexual behavior). A sexual offense, in legal terms, usually involves sexual victimization.

            As to the scenario you suggested in the first comment you posted, your idea of art is a straw man sliding down a slippery slope. A double logical fallacy. Clearly, you climaxed too quickly thinking her vagina was for you to project your sexual frustrations, since you missed the part(s) detailing that 1. She did not announce this 2. She was held accountable 3. Rape is never courageous.

            Artists perform. They create art. Art is subjective. This may be news to you, but what this woman was doing was not sexual.

          44. When you have to use “usually” – You’ve lost…

            In fact – You do realize that even acts like public urination is considered a sex crime right? (I use this as an example because I’m sure more than a few reading this has taken a “leak” outside!)


            The reason is because there is a POSSIBILITY of another seeing your genitalia!

            Read what the article says about what happned:
            “… to a crowd of unsuspecting security guards and applauding gallery goers. The artist was eventually taken away by police and, as Artnet reports, the museum and two of its guards subsequently filed sexual exhibitionism complaints against the bold woman.”

            It even goes further next to say:
            “This is a typical case of disrespecting the museum’s rules, whether for a performance or not,” the Musée d’Orsay’s administration said in a statement published in Artnet. “No request for authorization was filed with us. And even if it had been, it’s not certain we would have accepted it as that may have upset our visitors.”

            This is also not the first time she has done this:

            “To be fair, de Robertis claims she’s performed “Mirror of Origin” more than once in the Paris museum, without causing hysteria.”

            Sorry to say this folks – This was NOT art – It was a chick that gets off on exposing herself!

          45. fake

            or exposing kids to nudity through art might help them not become brain damaged / techno-dependent submissive females and misogynistic males who cannibalize each other through hetero-normative patterns that are reinforced by the policing of sex in your Correct Sex World


          46. So when artists view a naked ‘model’..body to paint..draw this is what exactly..

          47. I don’t want see a dick or pussy in person in public. That doesn’t mean I won’t look at a painting or statue

          48. Not true. The Viennese Actionists exposed themselves nude, including men, and their more disgusting (in my opinion, at least) even involved ejaculate. They are acclaimed as legendary figures in performance art and have even been cited as an influence by Yoko Ono.

            So yes, men can do this exact same thing and even be praised for it. Although I actually like this performance a lot better than the Viennese Actionists.

      1. Now you’re really worrying me. Interact with HER vagina, implying as if she’s showcasing it for penetration.

        Your comments just seem to be spilling out of a spigot of bigotry.

    2. Easy, the one thing is real, the other isn’t. People have problems with reality sometimes. Personally I think it’s an all right performance but I still prefer to see a painting when I visit a museum. There’s other places where I can go to if I want to see the real thing.

        1. I see your point, but – regardless of what we might describe as ‘art’ or ‘not art’ – why should certain art be segregated from other art? The only reason I see is to benefit the profiteers and make things easier to market, but shouldn’t art as a concept defy all of that?

      1. Exactly! The painting is real. Go there and you will see it. You could even touch it if you dared. It continues to exist today and has since it was created over 100 years ago. I expect it will be there, or somewhere, for over 100 more. It is permanent, solid, concrete, and enduring.
        The event we read about is another matter. Now it only exists as an idea, as a story, an imperfect memory. It is faith in photons streaming from a screen. Go there now and you will find no evidence it ever occurred.
        People have problems with reality sometimes. And it’s no wonder.

    3. Painting and real are not quite the same……..haven’t you notice?…………. :D even more when the real is just vulgar and poor action cutting all the mistery and power.

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