Installation, 2017

 

Cherry: Hymen

Hymen: Virgin

Blossom: Puberty

Ripe: Fertile

Rotten: Prude

            Ripe for the Picking is an installation that visualizes the epistemology of the use of the cherry as a symbol of virginity.  The cherry is referencing the hymen, which is regarded by society as a marker of a woman’s virginity. The language used to describe the maturing of a young woman can be found in the description of how cherries grow.  They blossom, and ripen the way we say that young women “blossom into beautiful young ladies” or are at a “ripe age.” When cherries are ripe, they are picked and consumed, like how young virgin women are most fetishized and desired. Yet they are simultaneously slandered if they have sex at too young of an age, resulting in being labeled a “slut.” If a cherry isn’t picked they rot and fall to the ground, similarly in society, the older a virgin woman is, the less desirable and more prudish she becomes. For my installation I chose to hang the cherries in a space with wooden walls to reference a cherry tree. The cherries, the wire, and the grass rug are all artificial, giving the overall installation a tempting, alluring quality, but simultaneously making the cherries unable to be consumed.