MothersWork: Photography & Video

always somebody’s daughter: reenactment of “Ivanka with Donald at a Beach Boys concert in Palm Beach, 1996”  | 2019

Trump’s election makes me feel deep visceral agony for the sake of all women. For the women in his family, the women in families of those he appoints, the women he hires, for all of the women in our country, for me and for my daughters.

In these images, I am the mother of the subjects. I ask them to reenact the images while placing a printed “frontground” image of a picture found on the internet. The pictures include Trump (or his appointees) and the intimate women in his life (wives and daughters). I beg my daughters to reenact the roles these women have played that are depicted in these media images. They protest and try to bargain with me (like they always do). My daughters do not have agency of an adult. But, they fight for it. 
always somebody’s daughter: reenactment of “Brett Kavanaugh Hearing, 2018” | 2019

In trumps world, women lose agency. This is a complicated dialogue. My daughters do not want to be “sad” to enact the image. Yet I am asking them to pretend to feel sad to perform these women’s role in the picture. I believe that in many ways these women and women in the trump era do not have agency to determine the roles they play in daily life. While not a new phenomenon, trump brings it to prominence. Am I performing the role that trump does in the relationship with women? Part of my daughters wants to participate in the aesthetic labor of posing, adorning a wig, trying to enact the role of an adult woman. But they feel conflicted as so many women do while participating in this aesthetic labor. The subject-object relationship between photographer (me) and subject (my daughters) implicates me as mother and trump as leader.

just a girl | digital video collage | 2019 This work weaves digital video clippings of my own body into a tapestry of movement, calling to mind ornamental and decorative arts traditionally deemed “women’s work” such as sewing, knitting, and weaving. Similar to ornamental and decorative patterns, they repeat and juxtapose basal elements to form larger motifs. As moving collages, they convey the notion that patterns can be malleable, restless, mutable, transformable, etc, The idiosyncrasies in the movements contrast with the common conception of consistency and regularity associated with the “digital” and reveal the “human” hand in the process of construction (human body movements). Dragging and dropping physical body parts creates the repetitious aesthetic only possible with digital technology, thus suggesting the multifaceted (sometimes artificially replicated) identities we can assume in today’s digital world.
no, i will not lose my hair | 2019 The uncanny valley created by animatronic movements at once intrigues and repels. A similar feeling of curiosity and repulsion can be felt by my daughters at the possibility of my losing my hair during breast cancer treatment. A blondish/whitish wig teeters between the blonde of youth and white of old age, suggesting the emotional struggles of having this diagnosis so young for both myself and my children.
stay-at-home-mom (collaboration with daughters) | 2019 One of my daughters inserted this doll head inside the stopper behind a door that is constantly being slammed or opened quickly and sometimes catches another daughter’s (or my) unsuspecting fingers or toes. To me, this impromptu sculpture represents the Sisyphean dance of managing the emotions of oneself and three young daughters 24 hours a day; the emotional and physical boundaries often dissolve and your minds, bodies, and physical spaces become so intertwined they it is hard to distinguish between oneself and another. Seeking out individual emotional and physical space feels like running into a door.
Part of a larger project by The MBC
us (sculpture #1) | 2013 We felt the need of extra support following the loss of three non-viable pregnancies, one of which was partial molar pregnancy (part fetus, part tumor). Assuming the fetal position felt appropriate because, in a sense, in this position you cradle yourself.