• Artwork by Andrea Bowers entitled "Open Secret" during a preview day of Art Basel, the world's premier modern and contemporary art fair. (AFP)
"I feel massively exploited like I’m on display in a zoo. I couldn’t opt out of because I never consented."
By
Sarah Malik

13 Jun 2019 - 10:23 AM  UPDATED 13 Jun 2019 - 10:23 AM

American feminist artist Andrea Bowers is under fire after failing to get permission from sexual assault victims for images used in a exhibition telling their stories. 

Writer Helen Donahue accused Bowers of using an image she shared of her bruised face shared on social media  without her permission, according to the Rolling Stone. 

The image is featured in Bowers’ new Art Basel installationOpen Secret,  which “documents the important cultural shifts represented by the #MeToo and Time’s Up international movements against sexual harassment and assault”, the Rolling Stone reports. 

The art work features the stories of 200 men accused in the #MeToo movement at the prestigious Art Basel exhibition in Switzerland. 

Donahue slammed the use of her images on social media, saying she it was 'insane' she had to find out her 'beat up face and body' were on display as art through a stranger's instagram story. 

"Cool that my f***ing photos and trauma are heading art basel thx for exploiting us for "art"," she tweeted.

"Do you know how f***ing insane it is to find out my beat up face and body are on display as art RN (right now_ for rich people to gawk at thru (through) a stranger's instagram story?" 

In 2017, Donahue revealed on Twitter she had been violently sexually assaulted by a unidentified freelance writer and posted graphic images of her face covered in bruises on the social media site.

“The purpose behind my uploading those photos was to warn other women, not to profit,” Donahue told the Rolling Stone. 

“And I’ve never benefited from that choice — if anything I’ve lost opportunities and burnt bridges. And through this art, I feel massively exploited like I’m on display in a zoo I couldn’t opt out of because I never consented.”

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