Archives for category: mothernism


What a great way to ring in 2015 on Gender Assignment, with one of the great discoveries I made this year, Mothernism by Lise Haller Baggesen. It is a treat to behold—purple with silver text block bling—and to devour. (I read it in one sitting.) Haller Baggesen runs the gamut on topics, from pinkwashing breast cancer campaigns, to little-known artist, Hilma af Klint. She considers their cultural significance in letters to her sister and daughter, as well as passionate essays full of personal experience, and lesser-known sources. I was lucky enough to score an interview, which got me thinking as much as Mothernism did.

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IMG_4557“Yo Mama is so stupid, she ate a rotten fish while she was pregnant. Her tummy got so fat she walked all funny, and you were born with the wits of a silly little goat!”

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Into the midst of these chilly philosophical divides, artist and writer Lise Haller Baggesen strikes with “Mothernism”—a project comprised of both her traveling multimedia tent installation and a new book released this fall from Green Lantern Press and Poor Farm Press. With the excesses (and excessive generosity) of Baggesen’s artwork and book, she loosens the divide that would place motherhood at odds with a pursuit of rebelling against status quo oppression.

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On October 2, I previewed Lise Baggesen’s “Mothernism” installation at Ordinary Projects in the Mana Contemporary building (2233 South Throop in Pilsen). We took off our shoes and climbed into the tent that serves as an interactive centerpiece to the exhibition. What follows is an abridged version of our rich conversation about Mothernism the book and the artwork. (Matt Morris)

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You really need to make up your mind. Or is it already too late? Has your body already made up your mind? You would almost think so.

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Picture yourself on a float on a river…

There are about 30 or so of you out there on that lazy river, drifting along under the summer skies, a little chilly but not really cold  -just enough to give you goose-bumps. It’s laid back and a little weird, you here so close with all these people you barely know, racing lazily along. To pass the time somebody starts to sing and before you know it you are joining the chorus, gloriously failing an attempt at a unison Bohemian Rhapsody:

Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide
No escape from reality
Open your eyes
Look up to the skies and see…

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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. Read the rest of this entry »