The Center for Sex & Culture Presents the Slut-Kerchief Project
A panel discussion exploring the many faces of the word “slut” will be held on Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m. All events are at the Center for Sex and Culture at its 1349 Mission St. location.
Oakland-based cloth goods designer Geana Sieburger developed the idea for the Slut-kerchief— a square linen scarf silk-screened with the original Oxford English Dictionary definition of the word “slut” and hemmed on a century-old industrial Pfaff — as an invitation to explore the confines of that word.
“Even before it held its current definition of a sexually promiscuous woman, the word ‘slut’ carried negative undertones specifically aimed at disparaging women,” the organization says. “Sieburger offers the Slut-kerchief as an objective artifact open to interpretation by its wearers.”
The Slut-kerchief is a fashion accessory that can also be put to practical use: as a neck-kerchief for warmth; a head scarf; a dish towel or napkin; a bindle for a picnic; a bib for messy eaters; and a diaper cover for babies.
Sieburger’s collaboration with photographer Rosey Lakos began as a way to document the individuals who purchased the Slut-kerchief, but then morphed into a examination of each person’s relationship to the word “slut.”
In the current exhibition, visitors will have the opportunity to view each portrait both wall mounted and inside of a miniature photo viewer. The inclusion of an “intimate viewing device” is a subtle nod to the illicit peep shows popular a century ago and further prods viewers to question what is truly taboo, the event’s organizers say. “By physically handling each miniature photo viewer, guests have a tactile experience while intimately engaging with each portrait and getting a glimpse into the individual’s story.”
The Center for Sex and Culture is open to the public on Tuesdays from 2-6 p.m. All other viewings require an appointment.
During the month of November, 15 percent of Slut-kerchief sales will be donated to the Center for Sex & Culture. Ten percent of proceeds have been donated to La Casa de las Madres in San Francisco. For more information about the project, visit SlutkerchiefProject.com.