- February 2 – May 7, 2017
- Gallery 4
Featuring Julia Barbosa Landois
M*dres is a series of silkscreen prints employing phrases in English and Spanish which contain the words mom/mother/madre. The work examines how gendered language reflects and structures our political and cultural attitudes towards women. Some are common phrases, some are swears, and some are backhanded compliments. In English, using the word “mom” as an adjective automatically devalues what follows, and what follows often has to do with appearance – mom jeans, mom body, mom haircut, etc. The Spanish phrases seem relatively harmless in literal translation, but in context, transform to vulgarities you probably wouldn’t use in the presence of your own mother.
“My interest in these phrases is what they connote for the larger social framing of motherhood, as well as my own paradoxical existence as a caretaker in a profession that lionizes the unattached individual living only for the work.”– Landois
Serious Work, a performance held on January 13, 2017, as part of Landois’ upcoming exhibition, satirically contrasts the banalities of parental life with the performance artist persona, using a smartphone as mediator and monkey wrench. Landois physically manifests the concept of over-sharing while text-messaging with her “mom body” on view, simultaneously highlighting the artistic cliché of nudity as instant gravitas. Though the audience was deprived of their own devices, she ends up receiving and responding to texts from her partner and a friend, exposing the psychic architecture (and clutter) behind even the simplest performance.