A 10-foot vagina has been erected in Tel Aviv.
The structure, put in place ahead of International Woman’s Day, celebrated on Tuesday, is an art installation in the middle of Rothschild Avenue.
The stylized vulva is made of thousands of cards advertising escort and prostitution services.
A 50-meter-long pathway, also made up of thousands of advertisements, leads to the structure.
Sasha Kurbatov and Vanane Borian, the Tel Aviv-based creators, both earned master’s degrees in design at the Shenkar College last year.
“This is not our first work on this subject,” Kurbatov told the Ynet Hebrew-language news site. “Six months ago, we designed a new business card that’s like the prostitution ads but said: ‘Masturbate quietly, and alone.’ We distributed these cards across town. We deal with this subject constantly.”
The ads, strategically distributed on the sidewalk as if they were dropped off by mistake, are a plague on the Tel Aviv landscape. Sometimes drivers using parking lots will find the tiny flyers under their wipers when they return to their vehicles.
The ads mostly feature scantily clad women in seductive poses. They offer “massage treatments” and usually have an asterisk indicating “no sexual services,” lip service paid to the illegality of prostitution in Israel. But the pictures leave little to the imagination.
Repeated police crackdowns have not put an end to the prostitution, nor to the advertisement of such services on the city’s streets.
Borian said of the installation: “It came as inspiration from urban reality. All the fragments of women that are on the floor, people are stepping on them, they see it and there is no longer any value to it. A woman simply loses all value and become an object, not even a complete object.”
It took Borian and Kurbatov about a year to collect the huge amount of cards to build the statue and the pathway leading to it.
According to the artists, “People who pick up these cards are looking for a big vagina, so we just gave them one. Ahead of women’s day we wanted to awaken those women pushed to the sidelines. We [as a society] very much like to sweep this issue under the carpet. We don’t talk about it enough or give it enough attention.”