i am creating this mother
Video stills and excerpt from the work "i am creating this mother",
Video, sound, text, 07:07 min, 2021
The experimental and performative video-sound work I am creating this mother shows the creation of a figurative sculpture. The modelling hands remain largely invisible, and only the movements in the negative space indicate the presence of a creating entity. The visuals are highly abstracted, giving the impression of a microscopic recording in which a being moves, changes, develops. The accompanying text, recited by a low pitched modified voice, tells of the creation of the mother from the perspective of the unknown creating character. The surreal scenery is accompanied by a composition of synthesizer soundscapes and singing.
The figure created during this meditative act is being bent, damaged, reshaped, torn open, crushed. Her womb remains a perpetual source of new life. She is being formed and deformed at the same time. She constantly transforms and goes through different stages, some of which refer to well-known goddess depictions from different cultures and ages. This refers to the way mothers are shaped by society and the expectation towards mothers to be mothers and nothing else. The work was inspired by an essay from Aliette de Bodard on Motherhood and Erasure, published in 2018 on Intellectus Speculativus. She writes about the often poor depiction of mothers in TV shows, movies and other storytellings. „(…) We [mothers] aren’t characters: we are people-shaped holes. We are empty spaces or hollowed-out characters, whose sole purpose–when the story bothers to give us one–is to erase ourselves for the sake of our children (…)“. In stories, mothers are often not more than part of the framework that gives the hero their freedom to go on a journey. And in our society, too, mothers are often only seen as mothers, not as persons anymore, only existent to create and to nurture, to hold space, to run the family. Giving has to be nourishing for her; if it is not, she is not seen as a good mother. This idea that all mothers should be loving and nurturing all the time deprives the mother of her personality, of the possibility of being seen as a full human being. We have so many unrealistic expectations of motherhood in our society. We live in these patriarchal structures and still expect our mothers to be archetypal goddesses.