Am I clean now was inspired by the scary history of feminine hygiene products and how that reflects the fact that society has always seen womxn as dirty. Are our bodies and minds ever clean enough for this world?
Athena is fascinated by how healthy body functions such as menstruation or normal vagina odor have historically been seen as repelling and as problems that need extreme solutions, such as feminine hygiene products containing bleach or cresol. One would hope that such events and products would be a thing of the past, but, unfortunately, that’s far from true. Womxn in general are seen and treated as dirty by society to this very day.
Are womxn’s bodies and minds ever clean enough for this world? She’s exploring this question by illustrating cleaning products’ packaging on a soft surface, turning them into a quilt, which is associated with feelings of comfort and coziness. Women have been recording pieces of history, social concerns, personal accounts and political statements on quilts for centuries. She’s, therefore, depicting the struggle with the idea(l) of cleanliness, but at the same time making it our strength, since handicraft was always a tool in the hands of women to bring them closer to each other and achieve great things.