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InterView® : Isa Sanz Menstrual Consciousness

All photos © 2008 Isa Sanz

Series title: “When a woman bleeds it’s an act of love.”


“Many artists have worked with elements and body fluids, as Aktionist Artists did, but only a few artists have shown or represented menstrual blood. I reclaim, as a sign of identity, what society and religions have made a big taboo: MENSTRUAL BLOOD.”

Spanish visual artist Isa (for Isabel) Sanz writes,

The series is named “When a woman bleeds it’s an act of love.” It is a photographic work performed in front of a camera, where the blood is the nexus between the individual and the collective experience. The blood in menstruation, usually seen as a taboo, is shown as a thing of beauty and poetry. According to Simone de Beauvoir in her book “The Second Sex,” during menstruation blood represents the essence of femininity.

In this photograph (Above Top) the model is not looking at the camera; it represents just the moment, a moment in which the intimated act is shared with the audience in a frontal pose. The view of blood becomes a secondary reading while the strength the poetry and the fragility of the moment is taking part.

Talking to different people, I realized that the way they see this series depends on the viewer and his/her social baggage, and so, some people found this project extremely beautiful, others have to confront themselves with their ideas of beauty and horror, concerning the act of bleeding during the menstruation.

The artist continues,

“I am an artist and working with photography and video. I studied Graphic Design and Photography in Madrid and received a degree in Photography and Media Arts in England recently. For my minor project at the university I made a photographic project where menstruation is the nexus in the whole series. I explore the female representation and menstruation has been an important area in my work as a sign of the feminine identity.”

Isabel Sanz writes,

“In this photograph [below] the girl is posing opposite the camera but the message which she is writing frontally on the white wall is the punctum, the word amor, which means love in Spanish, and it reveals my intentions in this series and my relation to the blood during menstruation, seeing my own blood as a part of a female nature. I try to represent a transformation by using the image of the girl in the photo as an element in which the blood that flows out from her transforms all the negative established ideas about menstruation, showing what had to be hidden. So it’s building a semantic message for the viewer that is a positive message that can be read from different angles. In an immunized world invaded by pornographic images of pain, destruction and suffering, I think that these kinds of positive ideas have more impact on the viewer than an image of destruction. In the times we are living, a positive message can be more subversive than a negative one.

“Thank you for your time Mr. Anonymous, and for your interview!!!

Editor: It was a pleasure to hear such refreshing viewpoint on what is and what is not “taboo”. We fully expect YOUR Comments to be diverse and maybe DARING?

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