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La Petite Mort is a sex education exhibition about the female orgasm. More than just an act of celebration, the show strives to empower, make a case for sex positivity, and change the dialogue around female sexuality that is often repressive and exclusionary - especially towards member of LGBTQ+ community. Originally translating from French, La Petite Mort, meaning “little death” has come to compare the sensation of post-orgasm to death.

Art Direction from Paul Kepple

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I began to tackle this subject with a rough scratchboard of typographic solutions. My design process tends to be very experimental, so I moved forward with non-linear versions of my timeline and variations before I arrived at the finished design.

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A 30 foot timeline featuring a retrospective of women’s sexuality through Ancient times, Hysteria, and our Modern Liberation.

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The show wall, intended to affirm the sex positive ideals of the exhibition, and that women’s sexuality deserves a modern refresh.

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Before the exhibition was installed, I conducted a survey about orgasm and received responses from 65 identifying women ages 18-32. All of the women that took my survey said they felt comfortable asking for consent, and I wanted to add something spectacle to celebrate. Thusly, a balloon was blown up to represent every woman.

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At the end of the timeline, in front of balloons, little takeaways were left in three stacks for viewers to internalize the underlying metaphysical themes of the show.

A rough floor-plan was sketched up before I realized that I needed to collaborate with an architecture student. Through this collaboration I was able to solve the spatial problem of experiential design.

I enlisted a voice actor to read my favorite responses to my open ended question, “What is orgasm to you?” and art directed the script reading.

Using the data from my survey, I created statistics from the questions that I wrote and edited with another collaborator.

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The last collaborative piece in my show, I built a five foot tall peepshow with a ceramics student. The aid in dimensional work was crucial for me to execute a box that would support the weight of a television and maintain its viewing integrity. The peepshow, meant to reappropriate the male gaze plays a zoomed in, duotoned erotic film while playing two different studies on people’s porn histories.

Lastly, I designed a zine that was intended to be installed on the side of the peepshow. The zine was intended to tie in the feminist film maker I featured on my timeline and my peepshow, Erika Lust. Lust is an advocate for ethical porn, and I think this was a crucial voice to feature in my show because of the blatant mistreatment of women frequently displayed in these films.

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Merchandise to be bought at the show.