This portfolio contains a selection of images and audio files to support my SARF application Mirrors Become Windows. It focuses on my two main productions of the last few years, connecting with, and challenging, the feminist and the art historical canon. Connecting the projects is a cast of female characters, around which a body of visual work is created, and exhibited, in combination with audio recordings of their oral histories. These testimonies take the form of letters, notes-to-self, tweets, poems, manifestos, and even psychic readings.
MOTHERNISM (2013) is a utopian and affectionate call to arms by the fictional scion Queen Leeba, while HATORADE RETROGRADE (2016) paints a dystopian picture of the US anno 2033.
Click on images to enlarge.
Image 1-4: HATORADE RETROGRADE
HATORADE RETROGRADE (2016) installation view, Threewalls, Chicago (IL) (From left to right: MS PEACE IN THE U.S./DOUBLE RAINBOW ALL THE WAY/ CANDY APPLE GREY/ HI BUTFL/THE AGE OF HILARIOUS)
HATORADE RETROGRADE debuted at Threewalls in Chicago in May 2016 and was received with an Art Forum Critic’s Pick. The exhibition featured sartorial works set against a backdrop of revisionist “lipstick formalist” paintings, to present a femi-futurist vision of the US anno 2033. Central to the show is a cast of female protagonists, for whom I commissioned ten collaborators to write and record audio.
MS. PEACE IN THE U.S. (2016) Materials: mixed media (hand made tie dye, found fabric, beauty pageant paraphernalia, on dress form) w audio. Dimensions app. 60”x 36” x 72”.
MS PEACE IN THE U.S. 2033 is a pregnant, black, teenage beauty pageant queen, and her audio is a quest for American Worthiness, written and delivered by National Youth Poet Laureate 2016/17 Stella Binion.
SORROW/SORROWS CHILD (2016) Materials: mixed media (oil paint, acrylic medium, glitter, found fabric,fur coat, on dress forms) w audio. Dimensions app. 60”x 24”x 24” each.
SORROW and SORROW’S CHILD are waiting for a lone wolf to turn up at the wildlife sanctuary they built on the ruins of Boulder, Colorado. The audio track for SORROW’S CHILD is a eulogy for the wild, written and performed by youth poet and LTAB champion Maya Dru.
FRACKING TIGER MOUNTAIN (2016) 72”x48” (oil paint, acrylic binder and glitter on velour and hand made tie dye)
Image 5-10: MOTHERNISM
At the intersection of feminism, sci-fi and disco, MOTHERNISM aims to locate the “mother-shaped” hole in contemporary art discourse.
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 singular genius, MOTHERNISM amplifies her presence, channeling her energy, complexity, and sublime creative potential in a series of intimate and critical reflections.
The project consists of a nomadic installation and a book, co-published by Poor Farm Press and green Lantern Press in 2014.
Since its inception in 2013 the installation continues to travel, inviting its visitors to engage with the space and the larger conversation around it. In 2016 it visited The Elmhurst Art Museum Biennial, The Elisabeth Foundation and A.I.R. Gallery in New York, and Austin Contemporary in Texas. The hand made “protest-chic” banners adorning the camp pay tribute to second wave feminist slogans, the macho territory of color field painting, and the work of abstract pioneer Hilma af Klint, while infusing them all with a disco vibe.
Put The Mom in MoMA (2015), Mothernism flag, EAM biennial(IL) (silver gutta resist and textile dye on found fabric) app. 30” x 30”.
The Mothernist Mindmap, Texas Edition (2016) The Contemporary Austin (TX) Silver Sharpie and map pins on photo mural 10'x14'
The Mothernist Mind Map draws an index of the research for the project as a “cat’s cradle” of interconnections. Each map pin marks a (pop)star on the Mothernist firmament, named after influential writers, performers, artists, politicians, and public figures. Shown here is the map from MOTHERNISM at The Contemporary Austin (TX), including references for The Mothernist Audio Guide to Laguna Gloria.
Incorporating the Mothernist’s signature mélange of art history, pop culture, politics, and music, this walking guide, which I wrote and recorded on site, invited visitors to uncover forgotten stories and explore Laguna Gloria, its history, and its artwork, in new ways. The audio excerpt included relates to Monica Sosnowska’s sculpture The Stairs.
Mothernizing RABK a performative lecture at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam, from the Mothernist European Tour 2015.
As well as contemporary art venues, MOTHERNISM has found an academic audience, and visited various educational institutions and academic conferences related to maternal and feminist studies.
During the conference Mapping the Maternal: Art, Ethics, and the Anthropocene (2016) at the University of Alberta, Canada, the installation served as the “mother-ship” for the entire program of panel talks. As this group photo shows, the conference was visited by prominent academics of the field, including Griselda Pollock, Irina Aristarkhova, Tina Kinsella, Myrel Chzernyk, Andrea Liss, and Natalie Loveless.
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