The Great Mother

I picked up the catalog for the show "The Great Mother: Women, Maternity, and Power in Art and Visual Culture, 1900-2015" curated by Massimiliano Gioni in 2015. Great essays and interviews on how the image of the mother has been interpreted over the last 100 years or so under various socio-political and artistic movements over time. The exhibition featured male and female artists who challenged in their own creative manner the projected social constructs idealising the image of the mother at the time.

I cannot easily shake off the village. -Thoreau

'Good Grief!' was on last week and was well received. I performed (with a guest) and I really enjoyed the experience. I had planned to spend the whole opening inside the structure. I cannot easily shake off the village. - Thoreau was about my ideal form of escape: a structure that would serve as both a workspace on its upright position and as a resting space once lying on its side. Moving, lifting, & tilting of the structure all had to be performed by myself. I saw these basic tasks as fundamental in representing effort in seeking some personal space to think or to relax.

Upcoming Group Exhibition: Artist Residency in Parenthood

Pretty excited to be part of this show in Sydney! I had the chance to meet with Lenine Bourke, whose idea it was to put together this show. There's a great selection of artists working with various media. There are two other artists from Melbourne, my fellow art-mums friends Clare Rae and Nina Ross. I'll be attending the panel discussion on Feb 6th and will be looking forward to meeting and greeting friends and other artists.

F generation: feminism, art, progressions

I've been part of a collective of artists mums for the past year. Together, we collaborated to submit a document in response to what feminism is to us today for the F generation: feminism, art, progressions exhibition that took place in October 2015. The final document which featured texts and visual art work was going to be archived in the Melbourne Women's Art Register.

The following image was what I submitted.

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Upcoming Exhibition

Here's the invite for an exhibition I've been slowly preparing for the past few months. Here's the statement for the show:

"In horror stories or in fairy tales, the fascination with the morbid is a way to prepare for the unthinkable". Cindy Sherman

Family Fantasy is a three-part installation exploring isolation: a model house, a photograph of a kitchen, and a constructed wall suggest sites where control over access to the outside is challenged. This exhibition was inspired by the artist?s experience living in Cleveland, Ohio in 2013. During the same year, three women were rescued from the house of their kidnapper Ariel Castro in Cleveland, Ohio. The women had been sequestered for ten years.

Compromise

As part of the 2nd year VCA Photography class, we put together this show Compromise. The idea was to ask a non-artist relation to suggest a modification to a selected work of our choice. And we did as we were told!

I submitted this image I took while visiting my parents in Montreal back in 2013.

PHOTOGRAPHY MEETS FEMINISM: Australian women photographers 1970s–80s

Kitty’s shoes on couch, Still life (1988) - Janina Green

Kitty’s shoes on couch, Still life (1988) - Janina Green

I had the chance to see this show last week at the Monash Gallery of Art.  Great overview of the works of various Australian women photographers whose works I had yet to discover such as those of Helen Grace, Ponch Hawkes, & Robyn Stacey to name a few. I noted several hand coloured silver gelatin prints throughout the exhibition. One of my VCA teachers, Janina Green, had a series of still life photographs which beautifully depicted the craft of hand colouring. The image shown above resonated with me: I saw fragility and delicateness in it. 

Tehching Hsieh: Performance art, the body, and time

One Year Performance 1980-1981 (a.k.a. Time Clock Piece)

I first heard of Tehching Hsieh and the “Time Clock Piece, 1980-1981” in 2010. I was both shocked and in awe. I’ve experienced sleep deprivation but I can’t imagine punching the clock every hour and taking self-portraits of each of these moments for a whole year. It’s another level of performance. For Marina Abramovíc, she makes it clear that she prepares for weeks before her performances thought meditation, dietary changes, etc. I’d be interested to know how Tehching Hsieh sustained such mental and physical endurance for his year-long performance projects. 

Here’s a good article about his career and exhibition in Sydney.

Yijun Liao

Discovered this Chinese artist Yijun Liao. I like her works. They’re witty and beautifully composed. Below is ’Relationships work best when each partner knows their proper’ from the series ‘Experimental relationship’, 2008.

Yijum Liao, ‘Relationships work best when each partner knows their proper’ from the series ‘Experimental relationship’, 2008. C-print, 24 x 20 “

Catherine Opie

A few weeks before I moved to Cleveland, I found this episode on Art21 about Catherine Opie’s commissioned photo series for the Hillcrest Hospital, in Cleveland. I was familiar with Opie’s self-portraits (see below)  and portraits of others depicting strong statements about sexuality, S&M culture, gender issues. I was really surprised at this completely different body of work. 

Her series was of various shots of Lake Erie. There’s something very calming with these images of water. I can see how this series works well in a hospital setting: it instills familiarity, contemplation, and meditation.

My photograph doesn’t give justice to the images. Nor does the spot lighting on site.

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Self Portrait / Nursing, 2004

C-print, 40 x 32 inches (101.6 x 81.3 cm)

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Transformer Station now showing Todd Hido

I went to see a photography show by Ohio-born artist Todd Hido at Transformer StationExcerpts from Silver Meadows is about memory, and where Hido grew up. Some of his photos reminded me of stills from a David Lynch movie. I really liked the eeriness of those.

The gallery is worth checking out too. It’s a newly renovated substation.

The Accidental Masterpiece: On The Art Of Life And Vice Versa

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I enjoyed this book. My favorite chapter is “The art of the pilgrimage” and explores the practices of artists such as James Turrell, Micheal Heizer, and Matthew Barney which are more quirkier and extreme than I expected.

My friend went for her honeymoon out to check out some of these remote land art installations. She followed a map with precise GPS coordinates to reach a spot where she would be picked up and driven to a secret destination. On that trip, she saw “The lightning field” by Walter de Maria.