Words by Sydney MacDonald
Collage artist Scientwehst had had enough of Silicon Valley tech bros and their dad-aged superiors dictating what she could and couldn’t post to Instagram. Social media, Scientwehst realized is “just not a democratic space. What’s right and what’s wrong is basically determined by these white corporate kids and old men that decide what can be seen what can’t be seen and how women should be viewed, what’s appropriate and what’s not.”
So Scientwehst, real name Giulia, began creating collages that directly challenged Instagram’s policies surrounding female nudity. She would take architectural photographs and overlay them upon sexually-charged photographs of the female form. The results are striking, though difficult to describe: imagine a nude vagina replaced with a fountain, a cleavage line replaced by the elaborately curved structure of a ceiling. Or just check out her work.
Since the bulk of Scientwehst’s work exclusively exists on Instagram, she has a unique platform to create deeper awareness of patriarchal censorship and the inequalities women face on social media. Yet social media is not the only home Scientwehst has found for her work. She was featured in the Museum of Sex’s “NSFW” exhibition this summer, and also on VICE’s Creators’ Project.
CONVICTS was lucky enough to host Scientwehst for a short interview last week. Aside from bringing excellent vibes and fluid wisdom to the office, Scientwehst shared her hopes that her work “brings up conversations about sex and sexuality so I can continue to change people’s minds on these topics in the future.”
And so far, Scientwehst’s artistic guerrilla tactics seem to be working. “I feel like when I do post more body positive things that are just more real and me naturally, I get a lot of DM’s of people being like thank you so much…I’m a bigger breasted woman and I know how difficult it is to find tee shirts and shirts and stuff like that.”
It goes without saying that A) this kind of work is more important than ever and B) Scientwehst’s future is nothing but bright: she’s got custom skateboards, t-shirts, and her own store on the way in 2018. What started as Scientwehst’s playful protest has morphed into something far bigger: a much needed voice in the ongoing conversation around femininity, power, and representation in the twenty-first century.
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