Milo Moiré was born in 1983. She is a Swiss artist, psychologist and model known for her nude performances and for the use of her body in her artistic work. Moiré has Slovak and Spanish origins and she works in Düsseldorf, Germany. She has an Art Academy background and a degree in psychology. In 2016 she performed naked to protest against the 2015 New Year's Eve sexual attacks in Germany.
Art or pornography? Moiré has deliberately placed herself on the gap between art and pornography. There are some videos on her website described as "uncensored" that are available for a fee. Moiré once stated that "there should be no limit to art" and "death is the only limit" she accepts. She was influenced by Marina Abramovic and Joseph Beuys.
You are a performer artist since 2013. You took the inspiration to do this from Marina Abramovic in 2006. Why did you decide to be a performer artist? What pushed you into this path and what do you think you can give more to the world by using this form of expression?
For me the performance art is the most democratic, human and intense of all art forms. Not anybody has an affinity to art, but we all have a body. Assuming this, the viewer is able to empathize the things he sees by his own physicality, immediately. It is like he's almost making the observed actions himself. This art form can not be possessed, it is more like a door of thoughts which one enters through by using his own body, as long as he's willing to walk in. The interesting thing with my performances in everyday life is that the audience itself acts. People are, pretty much as myself, a part of the performance, because they are responsible for their behaviour in that moment, which means they cannot avoid interacting with me. Everything happens spontaneously, like life itself. I am a conceptual artist, I use my naked body as a tool to convey my messages. My nakedness has always a different meaning.
You have a strong impact to the audience, you can be both loved or hated: what do people (if they do) tell you while you perform? Any aggressive reaction? Or on the contrary, are there people cheering for you while performing?
I performed in Switzerland, in Germany and in France. Most people reacted with restraint, ignorance or curiosity. Applause, there were been only once, right after my political statement in Cologne.
Do you think women like your performances?
Women are mostly curious,they show interest for my performances; some of them praise me, but for the majority my work is too "revealing".
How do you prepare for a performance? From the conception till the show, what is the process?
My concepts evolve very differently, it usually takes several months to the implementation. They are a mix of research and observation from everyday life (egg, parturition, selfie-mania, tram driving) and they are also inspired by my knowledge in psychology (e.g. script theory). As soon as the concept is mentally completed it is crucial for me to have a good feeling. I prepare the material, I test the process and I make myself familiar with the location of the performance. For example, it took several weeks to prepare the canvas with the elaborate collages before plopping the colour-filled eggs on it. Every Plopegg represents a special conceptual issue, such as "abstract money", "dream destination" or "playboy strips".
Your twenty minutes performance in Colonia happened right after the massive sexual abuses suffered by a number of women all over Germany. Being nude after what happened is a strong message but in a world where men consider themselves allowed to sexually abuse a woman for a too short skirt, aren't you afraid that the result you get is the opposite? That this "freedom" let them free to keep doing what they do just because nudity could be seen like an "invitation" to have sex?
Quite the opposite! I mean, even a dog can learn to leave the sausage on the plate! Men must respect the physical self-determination of the woman, even if she decides to be naked. Only through the daily body confrontation with women who wear - for example with self-confidence - a too short skirt, men must manifest an absolute, respectful attitude toward them. This freedom can only become normal if the majority of women think this way as well.
What do you think about the vision of the female figure related to the Islamic culture?
In many world's religions, women and their sexuality have been suppressed. The Islam is the youngest religion and in my opinion is the furthest from a modern enlightened world vision. In the past, women were hit by people using stones as a punishment for adultery both in Christian or Judaism religions, and this happens today in Islam. There are moderate, modern Muslims of course, but the standard (statistical majority) of the Muslims are lagging a way behind our humanistic values.
Watching your performance PlopEgg #1 - A birth of a picture I was wondering: how did it come to life? The impact of the whole thing is very much to handle.
I stood in my studio in front of a white canvas and I asked myself: „What does it mean to physically bring a new work into being, to actually give birth to it?" And how can I bring this „art-birth" immediately into the circle of Art?"
I found the answer in bringing different personal, physical experiences and by melting it with the symbol of a new life, the egg. At the end of a year-long process the idea of the „PlopEgg-Painting-Performance" came to life.
The „Art Cologne" is the oldest art fair and it was the perfect place where to bring and show the „PlopEggs" in real time into an highly compressed circle of art. I gave birth to the artwork through my vagina, and this had to be followed by the interpretations of the viewers. Eventually, the market determined the demand of further so called „art-births".
Tell us about your personal scale of values.
Freedom is my greatest asset! For me the most important values in life are: human equality between man and woman, the sexual freedom of women, cultural progress by secularity, democratic governance and tolerance towards what's new and towards strangers.
How much does the beauty count when it comes to nudity in photography?
Beauty universally captures the viewer's sight and in photography, the association between beauty and the nude produces a much vigorous desire.
About your job, what is the performance you care about the most?
For me the Plopegg-Painitings are the most fascinating, because they unite performance art and painting. The pictorial act of birth is both disturbing and creating at the same time.
Do you have any embarrassing or funny moment happened while you were performing, that you want to share with us?
In one of my Naked-Selfie-Performances an old lady wanted to take a selfie with me and she asked to later send her the printed photo. Then, I received a letter of appreciation from her. She wrote that she placed the photo on her night table. She depicts her hard life and she told me that our bare photo reminds her of how much is important to face life with courage.
You are pushing the boundaries of art forward. My question is: is provocation the only way to be recognized in this world nowadays?
Unfortunately, there is some truth in it. In our society there is a constant noise and we live under pressure, so only the "loud" becomes visible. If there is only pure provocation then it's only a thing for the mass, it will certainly end quickly, and eventually be forgotten. It takes more than just shouting to spread a message which can be heard in the long run.
About the "Twelve muses", the artistic nude calendar project which represents the universe of femininity where you appear in 12 different characters. You said that you don't have a favourite one of the twelve muses you portray but you had to fit the role in each shot. Which are (if there are) the muses that are closer to your personality and vice versa?
I recognize myself in the playful muse and most clearly in the adventurer. By contrast, the homly one is the less close to my personality.
Every human being is supposed to play a role in this life: what is yours?
I think and I somehow feel that my purpose of existence is to be an art Amazon. Like a warrior I am fighting for the freedom of physicality, sexuality and mind by creating images that inspire to modify the usual vision that people have.
How can pornography be seen as art? And through what kind of vision can perversion be insert into normality?
It just depends on the meanings that you „charge" things with. For example: different people see the same sex scene. One person gets the information that he's seeing a porn movie, in which it's all about how to make the viewer sexually horny and make him to achieve an orgasm. Person B receives the information that it is an art film of a renowned artist, who has already been shown at important art exhibitions and that the art-movie represents a special subject matter. Due to the different informations the two people will make their own associations and they interpret the movie differently, causing different neuronal activities in the brain.
Of course, the context, the quality of the concept and the aesthetic give direction to appraisals as well. However, the author has the right to decide whether his work is porn or art.
Where is your art bringing you in the future? What is your main goal in life?
I wish to wake up every morning for the rest of my life with the thought : "It's fantastic to be an artist!"
Last question: you wear your own skin perfectly, but we are curious: do you also have a favourite outfit?
I love my so called "olive-green" fatal dress by Wolford. It is mutable, form-fitting, it's non-crease and fits into any handbag.
Moiré's PlopEgg No. 1, performed at Art Cologne 2014, was a work of action painting that involved the expelling of paint filled eggs from her vagina on to a canvas, thus creating an abstract work of art. The eggs contained ink and acrylic paint. A video description of the work states "At the end of this almost meditative art birth performance the stained canvas is folded up, smoothed and unfolded to a symmetrically reflected picture, astonishingly coloured and full of [strength]."The folding of the resulting canvas created a work which has been compared to a Rorschach test and a womb. Moiré writes: "To create art, I use the original source of femininity – my vagina."
The Script System No.
In June 2014, for The Script System No. 2, Moiré travelled to Art Basel naked with the names of items of clothing marked on her body in paint; she was refused entry, forcing her to dress to enter the exhibition. Of The Script System, she has said "[it] is inspired by the script theory of cognitive psychology. Each of us knows these scripts (e.g. restaurant script), recurrent, stereotyped action sequences, after which we work every day. Especially early in the morning on the way to work, we work almost automatically, often without awareness of our environment. These everyday blindness I wanted to break through my performance." Moiré claims that lacking an outer shell of clothes, the human body regains its ability to communicate without the distractions of money, fashion, ideology or even time. The experience of the art viewer is also transformed with the reaction or non-reaction of the public an integral part of the performance. Her first nude performance was in 2007 and she has performed nude ever since in order to provide an authentic and unmediated experience.
Writing about PlopEgg in The Guardian in a piece entitled, "The artist who lays eggs with her vagina – or why performance art is so silly", Jonathan Jones commented, "And yet it's not a strong statement at all. It is absurd, gratuitous, trite and desperate. Anywhere but an art gathering, this would be regarded as a satire on modern cultural emptiness." Jess Denham in The Independent commented, "Not long ago there was Lady Gaga's 'vomit artist', but now Milo Moiré is making her look tame", adding, "the latest desperate effort to shock in the name of art."