Looking Back 2018: Motherhood and Other Stories – 回顾2018年:母亲和其他故事

2018 was a remarkable and remarkably exhausting year for me, mostly because I had my second child a year and a half after having my first. Now I have a one-year-old and a two-year-old, work full time and live 600 miles from New York City; my ability to visit exhibitions and attend events there (and anywhere outside of Columbus, Ohio where I live) has been hamstrung. But motherhood has opened up other channels. A significant one is the world of new books, especially books about motherhood. This was a remarkable year for texts on the subject, so long ghettoized by artists and writers alike. Reading these books was like holding up a mirror to a face that didn’t know it had a reflection.


Looking Back 2018: Motherhood and Other Stories - 回顾2018年:母亲和其他故事

Chris Pwers, Mothers, 2018. Courtesy: Faber & Faber

A few of them here, though I've only scraped the surface of this list: A Woman Is a Woman Until She Is a Mother by Anna Prushinskaya and Writing Motherhood, edited by Carolyn Jess-Cooke (both 2017); Motherhood by Sheila Heti; Like a Mother by Angela Garbes; And Now We Have Everything by Meaghan O’Connell; Mothers: An Essay On Love & Cruelty by Jacqueline Rose; The Republic Of Motherhood by Liz Berry; Mothers by Chris Powers; The Motherhood Affidavits by Laura Jean Baker; Sight: A Novel by Jessie Greengrass (all 2018). Baby in the Fire Escape, to be published by Julie Phillips next year, is readied on my waitlist; Claudia Dey’s essay Mothers as Makers of Death, published in the August issue of The Paris Review, was also of note. Lauren R. Weinstein’s comic narratives A Mother's Walk and Being an Artist and a Mother (the latter published by The New Yorker) were poignant, funny and a little devastating. Each of these texts, which range from shorter essays to long form fiction and poetry owes a debt to Adrienne Rich and Rachel Cusk in particular, as well as Toni Morrison, Elena Ferrante, Sylvia Plath, Julia Kristeva, Audre Lorde and Simone de Beauvoir – not to mention all the women who took the project of pregnancy, birth, and motherhood as serious material for art before doing so felt mainstream, safe or legitimate. Taken in sum, these books of 2018 demonstrate something profound about the shifting responsibility of creative producers to describe and account for (rather than pathologize) women’s work.


Looking Back 2018: Motherhood and Other Stories - 回顾2018年:母亲和其他故事

Peter Moore’s photograph of Lucinda Childs in Pastime, 1963, Surplus Dance Theater: Program Exchange, New York. Courtesy: Barbara Moore, VAGA at ARS, New York and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York

In the midst of reading these books – or at least of a handful of them – I did go (usually with a child or two) to see a few exceptional exhibitions, each inadvertently referring back to the content of those bedside pages. In New York, ‘Judson Dance Theater: The Work Is Never Done’, curated by Ana Janevski and Thomas Lax at the Museum of Modern Art, and Mary Manning’s exhibition ‘Love’ at CANADA both demonstrated a rare, incredible tenderness and desire to generate meaning through connecting to other wanting bodies in our orbit. In Columbus, Jo-ey Tang’s exhibition ‘arms ache avid aeon: Nancy Brooks Brody/Joy Episalla/Zoe Leonard/Carrie Yamaoka: fierce pussy amplified’ at Beeler Gallery (of which he is the director), a retrospective across four chapters that changes across time, is indelible. Working with Tang, fierce pussy – a collective of lesbian feminist artists founded in 1991 in association with ACT UP – has produced a show so striking for its restraint and its ache that is resembles written poetry as much as visual art.

As I tend to my own children and reach for the fortitude to be a parent, I am struck by the ways in which – now more than ever – I need art, across books and visual exhibitions, to feel assured of my own daily capacity for resilience, patience and affection.

Main image: cover artwork for Meaghan O'Connell’s And Now We Have Everything, 2018. Courtesy: Little, Brown US 

Carmen Winant

Carmen Winant is an artist and writer. She is the Roy Lichtenstein Chair of Studio Art at Ohio State University.

Opinion /

Looking Back
Looking Back 2018
Judson Dance Theater
Jo-ey Tang
MoMA New York

2018年对我来说是一个非常显著和令人疲惫的一年,主要是因为我有了第一个孩子一年半之后有了第二个孩子。现在我有一岁和两岁,全职工作,住在离纽约市600英里的地方;我在那里参观展览和参加活动的能力(以及我所居住的俄亥俄州哥伦布市以外的任何地方)一直受到阻碍。但是做母亲打开了其他渠道。其中很重要的一点是新书的世界,尤其是有关母性的书。在这一年里,有关这个主题的文章非常精彩,艺术家和作家们长期聚居在一起。读这些书就像拿着一面镜子面对着一张不知道镜子有倒影的脸。dxmvwleumaeewfu.jpg Looking Back 2018: Motherhood and Other Stories - 回顾2018年:母亲和其他故事 Chris Pwers,母亲,2018。礼貌:Faber&Faber.这里有几个,虽然我只是略微提到了这个列表的表面:一个女人是女人,直到她是安娜·普鲁辛斯卡娅的母亲,写作母亲,卡罗琳·杰斯-库克编辑(两本都是2017年);希拉·赫蒂的母亲;像安吉拉·加伯斯的母亲;现在我们拥有一切奈尔;母亲:一篇关于爱与虐待的文章,杰奎琳·罗斯;莉兹·贝瑞的《母性共和国》;克里斯·鲍尔斯的《母亲》;劳拉·让·贝克的《母性宣誓书》;场景:杰西·格林拉斯的小说(全部2018年)。朱莉·菲利普斯将于明年出版的《逃火中的婴儿》已经列入我的候补名单;克劳迪娅·迪在《巴黎评论》8月刊上发表的文章《母亲是死亡的制造者》也值得一提。劳伦·R·温斯坦(Lauren R.Weinstein)的喜剧叙事片《母亲的散步,成为一个艺术家》和《母亲》(后者由《纽约客》出版)是辛酸、有趣和有点毁灭性的。从短篇散文到长篇小说和诗歌,每一篇都特别感谢艾德里安娜?里奇和瑞秋?库克,还有托尼?莫里森、埃琳娜?费朗特、西尔维亚?普拉斯、茱莉亚?克里斯蒂娃、奥黛丽?洛德和西蒙?德?波伏娃,更不用说所有把怀孕、分娩和做母亲作为主题的妇女了。在这样做之前,许多艺术材料都觉得主流、安全或合法。综上所述,2018年的这些书展示了创造性生产者转变职责以描述和说明(而不是病理)妇女工作的深刻意义。1964_childs_pastime.jpg Looking Back 2018: Motherhood and Other Stories - 回顾2018年:母亲和其他故事 Peter Moore的《路易斯达中的露辛达儿童》的照片,1963年,剩余舞蹈剧院:节目交换,纽约。礼貌:芭芭拉·摩尔,纽约ARS的VAGA,以及纽约的保拉·库珀美术馆。在阅读这些书籍的过程中,或者至少阅读其中的一些书籍,我确实去看了一些特别的展览(通常是带着一两个孩子),每个展览无意中都提到了那些床头页的内容。在纽约,由安娜·贾内夫斯基和托马斯·拉克斯在现代艺术博物馆举办的“贾德森舞蹈剧院:工作永远也做不完”以及玛丽·曼宁在加那达举办的“爱”展览,都展现了一种罕见的、不可思议的温柔,以及通过与我们轨道上其他需要的物体联系来产生意义的愿望。在哥伦布,唐俊晖在比勒画廊(他是该画廊的导演)举办的展览“渴望永存的臂痛:南希·布鲁克斯·布罗迪/乔伊·伊·艾皮萨拉/佐伊·伦纳德/嘉莉·山冈:放大的凶猛的猫咪”,这是一次跨越四个章节的回顾,随着时间的流逝而变化,是无法磨灭的。和唐一起工作的“猛猫”——1991年与ACT UP联合成立的一群女同性恋女权主义艺术家——制作了一部非常引人注目的剧,其克制和疼痛与写诗和视觉艺术非常相似。当我抚养自己的孩子,并努力追求做父母的坚韧不拔时,我对于现在比以往任何时候都更需要艺术、书籍和视觉展览的方式,感到惊讶,这些方式使我对自己每天的弹性、耐心和情感的能力感到放心。主图:麦格汉·奥康奈尔的封面作品《现在我们拥有一切》,2018。礼貌:小,布朗·美国·卡门·温恩特·卡门·温恩特是艺术家和作家。她是俄亥俄州立大学工作室艺术的罗伊·列支敦士登主席。《意见》/《回首2018年》丛书母亲贾德森舞蹈剧院乔伊·唐·莫玛纽约


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