Sabrina Cognata has been my secret weapon since we first met two years ago. She’s a writer and storyteller on the LA comedy scene who also parties like death cannot touch her and often lights lives on fire because someone has offended her hyper-specific code of honor. She’s the product of a life-threatening car crash that transformed her from introvert to unfiltered social force-of-nature, due to the very literal smashing of the part of the human brain which governs self-restraint. I’ve described her elsewhere as the ideal candidate, should VICE ever need an editor for their Revenge Department. Sabrina is what would happen if you tried to clone Zelda Fitzgerald and filled in the genetic gaps, Jurassic Park style, with Bette Davis’ shoutiest characters. In other words, I hope you all become friends, because the alternative is a living nightmare.
Today, after a few months of joking about a drunken suggestion, Sabrina launched an art project that deserves our attention. You know decoupage, the time honored tradition of gluing paper clippings together? Well, strap in for Dickoupage. From the site’s summary:
“In the land of the dick pics, the woman who puts them to good use is king. Which is why I have concepted the Dickoupage project.
Dickoupage n. - the art or technique of decorating something with cut-outs of dick pics over which varnish or lacquer is applied.
I have a dream. A dream to explain to my father why my coffee table is covered with dongs of all shapes and sizes.
The idea is specifically fascinating to me, because as a friend of Sabrina’s I have, usually unwittingly, been subjected second-hand to the deluge of unsolicited genitalia shots that will flood her phone on a weekend night, from friends and strangers and even forwarded from other female friends dealing with the same predicament. Over the years, her collection has become formidable, but not expansive enough to cover the entirety of this table when printed at small size. (No offense intended.) As someone who regularly has to drink at this table, I should be sabotaging this whole endeavor right now, but I love so much of what comes from this open call for dongs.
First, the email submission allows for women who have been subjected to this in unpleasant ways to pass forward their harassment and have the weight of that discomfort lifted from their shoulders. Simultaneously, it offers an outlet to the kind of dudes who can’t help themselves from this behavior/communication to have a safe outlet one place on the internet that rewards and even celebrates them for submitting this to a safe space; one that will eventually yield an impressive work of offensive art that, again, I will personally have to look at while drinking. (Drink once for incredible feminist acts; finish your beer if you recognize a friend by their snausage alone.)
When asked for comment on how the grand Dickoupage experiment has done in the first few hours, the artist had this to share:
The prettiest penis I’ve been sent so far also asked me to hangout. I realize this is part of the bargain I made when I decided to follow through with the dickoupage project. An art installation where I cover my coffee table in dick pics. Saying that sounds so fucking pedantic but it’s really that basic. I want the one thing that everyone says is easy to get online, a dick pic, but so many that I can cover an entire coffee table and then do coke off it with my friends.
When I had my first desk job, I would fuck off and go to Ratemystiffy.com and just rate all the dicks the lowest score. Somehow in my head I was like the highlander of dick pics. Just going around cutting the heads off everything. Being a badass. Doing the Lord’s work. I have never had a problem with a dick pic. So it felt right to be able to ask for them in terms of mass appeal.
I love the idea of this because all I ever hear from people is how women don’t want dick pics. There is something incredible to me about being an object and being objectified. There is so much power in being the sum of your parts. I love being objectified but I also adore treating mean like they are just abs and pecs and dicks. I feel as though the power that men have over women is based on societal stigmas, and I think the tables can be easily turned.
Literally, this is a turning of tables.
And so, here we are, at that point where you can determine for yourself whether this represents empowerment or a reverse exploitation or something less meaningful and therefore just stupid fun. Which, I suppose your reaction can be judged by what you forward to the aforementioned email address, and when it is the intellectual property of you or someone that thought they were putting their best bits forward on a dating app. For Sabrina’s part, she has promised that in good faith, several photos of her own body will be hidden amongst the final project, as a Where’s Waldo-esque adventure for those who sent these pictures in the original pursuit of glimpsing them.