Vaginal Davis / Photo: Hector Martinez
Vaginal Davis: Magnificent Product
May 18 – Sep 15, 2024
Moderna Museet
Stockholm, Sweden

Award-winning artist, acclaimed author and international blacktress Vaginal Davis is coming to Stockholm. In her pioneering and incredibly diverse oeuvre, punk meets glamour, queer activism meets racial justice and resistance meets joy. Magnificent Product is her first major solo exhibition.

Once upon a time, in the far-eastern part of Los Angeles, a little girl was born. Her name was Vaginal. She was a child prodigy: she could read when she was two, soon learned to speak five languages including Assyrian, graced the stage of numerous elementary school theatres, enrolled in the local genius honours program, and, at the tender age of eight years, mounted her first exhibition at the Los Angeles Public Library, a radical rethinking of L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz.

Vaginal came out as Black at the age of eighteen. Inspired by the militancy of the Black Panthers in the United States, Vaginal named herself after Angela Davis – forever cementing her name in the annals of history: Vaginal Davis.

In the late 1970s, she started a band called The Afro Sisters, followed by other punk bands including ¡Cholita!; Pedro, Muriel & Esther; and black fag. Vaginal Davis made a scene, referred to by flannel-wearing scholars as “homocore,” a movement that refused the lame game of the gay mainstream and created a radical alternative for many a freak and misfit. Children and innocent white boys were advised to stay inside, as Vaginal Davis played to stars and plebeians alike on the stages of night clubs, gay bars, and punk pits. Even then, Vaginal Davis understood the path to world domination: “Everything that is culturally fascinating and interesting in the world originated in the Black queer demimonde then gets adapted by the Black straight populace, then co-opted into dominant or popular culture.”

Vaginal Davis did not stop there. She would go on to become a published author, award-winning blacktress, visual artist, temple prostitute, drag terrorist, celebrated film and documentary maker, cult figure, international superstar, spokesmodel, gossip columnist, influential socialite, and foundational performance artist.

She also moved to Berlin in the mid-2000s, where she made another scene, merging Los Angeles punk with Berlin radical. The Gospel of Vaginal Davis is now preached in every church, school, and queer club, from bustling metropoles to peaceful villages.

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