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INTROUMAMIMOTHER OF INVENTIONMOTHER OF REVOLUTIONMOTHER OF ABSTRACTIONMOTHER OF DEMOLITION • MOTHER OF PEARL • EPILOGUE

Thesis Abstract: Mothernism

At the intersection of feminism, science fiction and disco, “Mothernism” aims to locate the mother-shaped hole in contemporary art and discourse.

The central hypothesis being examined is if the proverbial Mother is perhaps perceived as a persona non grata in the art world, because her nurturing nature is at odds with the hyperbolic ideal of the singular artistic genius.

But what do mothers really do? They nurture and educate other people. Like artists and curators they give them a piece of their minds and, sometimes, their bodies.

In keeping with this generous principle, “Mothernism” is a hybrid project consisting of visual, spatial and textual components forming a synergetic, immersive whole: Through the letter writing and art production of the fictional alma mater Queen Leeba it explores the perceived schism, as well as the overlap, between mothering and artistic and curatorial practice.

Mothernism operates as a practice-based approach to critical research, and engages what can be dubbed “confluences of influences”: seeking to eke out information not solely from primary sources, but more importantly from their non-obvious interconnectedness.

THESIS ADVISOR: MICHELLE GRABNER
Professor and Chair, Painting and Drawing Department,
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago

SECOND READER: REBECCA DUCLOS
Dean of Graduate Studies
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago

THIRD READER: ROMI CRAWFORD
Ph.D., Associate Professor Visual and Critical Studies & Liberal Arts School of the Art Institute of Chicago

This Thesis is submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts.

Department of Visual and Critical Studies
School of the Art Institute of Chicago, May 2013