Hannah Wilke
S.O.S. Starification (Object Series), 1974
Hannah Wilke (1940 - 1993)
S.O.S. Starification (Object Series), 1974
Vintage silver gelatin print
17 x 11.5 cm
Hannah Wilke worked with sculpture, performance, and photography to explore perceived ideas of femininity and sexuality through a feminist lens. She began her career making sculptures that evoke both the female body and the natural world using ceramic and porcelain but also unconventional materials such as bubble gum, erasers, and lint. In S.O.S. Starification Object Series (1974–75), one of her most well-known works, the artist takes nude self-portraits covered in small vagina-shaped pieces of chewing gum, simultaneously embracing her sensuality, mocking media representations of female sex symbols, and satirizing gender stereotypes. “I chose gum because it’s the perfect metaphor for the American woman—chew her up, get what you want out of her, throw her out and pop in a new piece,” Wilke once explained.