Deborah de Robertis sits silently as museum-goers stop to contemplate the Luxembourg-based artist’s spread legs until a French police man arrests her for indecent exposure. On 29 May 2014, she walked into Paris’s famous Musée D’Orsay dressed in a gold sequin dress, and posed below the controversial 19th century painting titled ‘The Origin of the World’, which shows a woman’s vagina and abdomen. What was de Robertis trying to say with her 21st century live replication of the original?

Deborah de Robertis beneath Gustave Courbet's famous 'Origin of the World'

Deborah de Robertis beneath Gustave Courbet’s famous ‘Origin of the World’

one small seed was unable to get hold of de Robertis at this stage, but in an interview with, she explains that it was only exhibitionist in nature if the context is ignored. ‘What I did is not an impulsive act. It is very thought-through.’ She further clarified that she is challenging the role that confidence plays in connection with the naked female body, or the representation of it. When we look at a picture of a naked female, we’re in a safe place, we’re voyeurs and often happy that our gaze is not being returned. Once the portrayal comes to life, however, we’re dealing with a hell of a lot more. We become awkward, embarrassed and nervous — stripped of the confidence we boasted when we were merely peeping. What is de Robertis saying about the way society looks at women?

What do you think? Is provocation a way to put across a point? Is provocation necessary to make art? Is it art? Feel free to comment below or tweet us at @onesmallseedSA.

A similar performance just happened at Art Basel 2014. Click here for a woman who attends the event naked with just the words of clothing items written on the appropriate parts of her body.

Or, for more provocative art click here to read our interview with Jamie McCartney, the ‘Plastercaster’ who created ‘The Great Wall of Vagina‘.

Une artiste expose son sexe sous «L'origine du… by quoi2news