For some dating app users, swiping right signals a go-ahead to send unsolicited photos of your junk. Those users are wrong—and gross—and even the most angry response on Tinder just isn't enough to convey the intolerability of such harassment. So if you're artist and activist Whitney Bell, how do you respond? You assemble all of the dick pics on a wall of shame, in the name of opening up a conversation about sexual harassment.
The impeccably titled “I Didn't Ask for This: A Lifetime of Dick Pics” arrives at Think Tank Gallery this Friday and Saturday, October 6 and 7, with artwork, panels and a pop-up shop. Admission to each day costs $21. Proceeds from the event benefit HollaBack!, an anti-harassment non-profit.
The art exhibition is set up to look like an average room, albeit one with phallus photos everywhere. And unlike the images in this post, nothing in the gallery is censored. Over 150 unsolicited dick pics and aggressive comments will be hung up within the space alongside pieces from over 30 artists.
Though the salacious subject matter is certainly amusing, the show has a serious anti-harassment message at heart. Bell, who has mounted the show before here in L.A. and San Francisco, sought to create a non-judgmental space that encourages discussion about sexual harassment. “It was also important to emphasize the sex positivity of the event, while clearly showing that sex and harassment are two very different things, because so often in this society that can be confused,” writes Bell in the event's announcement.
That sex positivity has translated into two days of panels—Intersectional Feminism 101 For Men, Harassment in the Digital Era, the Intersection of Feminism and Pornography—and speakers, including Garbage front woman Shirley Manson, model Emily Sears, Ms. Magazine editorial director Carmen Rios and others.
And, of course, there's plenty of playful stuff, too: A photo booth with 200 dildos, a vibrator vending machine, feminist tattoos, lovemaking workshops and a sex toy DJ booth.
“I Didn't Ask for This: A Lifetime of Dick Pics” opens at Think Tank Gallery (939 Maple Ave) with a Friday Night Penis Party from 8pm to 1am and a Dick Discussion Saturday from noon to 6pm.