MOM Art Annex: Exhibition & Education Center

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M.A.M.A. 30 – Ching Ching Cheng & Jennifer Stewart Fueston [LINK]

Art by Ching Ching Cheng

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About the artist:

Ching Ching Cheng was born in Taiwan and immigrated to the United States fifteen years ago. She received her BFA from Art Center College of Design. Ching had co-curated an exhibition “The Lanuguage of Perpetual Conditions” at California State University Los Angeles in 2016. Ching exhibited at LACMA Rental and Sales Gallery, Chinese American Museum, Craft and Folk Art Museum, 21c Museum, colleges, universities and art fairs through out the United States, and also had solo exhibitions in Taiwan and China. She attended an artist-in-residency program at 943 Studio in Kunming, China in 2011. She taught lectures and workshops at college, University, museum, non-profit organization, and private art center. She received grants in 2011, in 2015 from art and cultural center in Taiwan, and in 2018 from the city of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. Ching currently lives and works in Altadena, California. https://www.chingchingcheng.com

Letting go series and Build series

In my work, I am interested in the relationship between identities and spaces. The physical environment and location, along with the cultural, social, economic and political aspects of space fascinate me. In my own practice, I question how identities are defined through space, and what the notion and ideology of identity means in relation to space.

Letting Go series

As a first generation immigrant from Taiwan, married with two young mixed-race children, I am often being judged by the look and color of my kids in relation to mine, and this made me question my identity as well as my children’s identity in relation to its space. Space is the product of relations, and is always in the process of becoming. How I perceive my own identity in the space I created, versus how others perceive my identity in their space. In my most recent photography series, I have included my children as part of my process and practice where I explore “mothering spaces”. I started to create different environmental spaces as sculptures, installations, and photography. Having children has propelled me to question what an identity is and to work and practice more as part of my daily routine.

Adapting, resisting, transforming, and accepting are the nature of the “in-between” stages, and this process of progression has become an important focus of my work. I went to Mainland China in 2012 for the first time for a three-months artist-in-residency. This was my first time living in China and reliving in an Asian country after living in the United States for almost ten years. That experience allowed me to witness how my identity went through stages of change, and experience the process of in-between. Even though I am Chinese, and I have Chinese features, I didn’t feel like I belonged there in the beginning. Oftentimes people carry their own set of cultures and identities when they migrate, and it is inevitable that they have to adjust this “carry on” within the new environment, and also change and adjust the way they live with new environments throughout different stages and events of their lives. While on residency in China, I underwent the process of “in-between” the transition of identities, I changed the way I speak to how the locals speak I started to use the words and sentences they use. As a result of these relocating adjustments, a distinct new identity was established in the new space. Read more at Procreate Project [Link}

POETRY: Taking the Baby to See Rothko at the National Gallery

By Jennifer Stewart Fueston
Fifteen minutes before closing seems like more time
than we’ll need to see all there is to see of Rothko’s
blocks of color, the hungry purples smeared on
canvases, the primal reds. The baby likes the moving
walkway, mobiles, flickering lights, the giant blueberry-
colored rooster crowing at the city from the roof.
I assume abstract expressionists will be a bit beyond
his comprehension, forgetting that they’re art stripped
down to form, to line and color, to oval and ochre, to
rectangle and rose. So that when his babbles echo off
the surfaces in Rothko’s room, I see he understands it
more than I will, pre-verbal, full of awe, himself another
masterpiece of bright, unsayable things.
Published in MOM EGG REVIEW 16
Jen Stewart Fueston lives in Longmont, Colorado. Her work has appeared in a wide variety of journals and anthologies. The forthcoming poem, ‘Trying to Conceive,’ was a finalist for Ruminate magazine’s McCabe poetry prize. Her chapbook, Visitations, was published in 2015. She has taught writing at the University of Colorado, Boulder, as well as internationally in Hungary, Turkey, and Lithuania.

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The Museum of Motherhood, the ProCreate Project, the Mom Egg Review, and the Mother Magazine are pleased to announce the launch of a bi-monthly international exchange of ideas and art. M.A.M.A. will celebrate the notion of being “pregnant with ideas” in new ways. This scholarly discourse intersects with the artistic to explore the wonder and the challenges of motherhood. Using words and art to connect new pathways between the creative, the academic, the para-academic, the digital, and the real, as well as the everyday: wherever you live, work, and play, the Art of Motherhood is made manifest. Download the Press Release here or read about updated initiatives#JoinMAMA  @ProcreateProj  @MOMmuseum @TheMomEgg

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M.A.M.A. – Mothers ARE Making Art – New Installation(s)

WHAT: The ProCreate Project, the Museum of Motherhood and the Mom Egg Review are partnering for bi-monthly on-line presentations featuring M.A.M.A. – Mothers are Making Art.
WHEN: The 1st and the 15th of each month words and images will highlight the joy and the challenges of being both a mother and an artist.
WHERE: Online is the place! We will host works of art about mothers and mothers-to-be; featuring academic and creative writing in order to promote women internationally and generate cultural exchanges and opportunities.

WHY: We are determined to explore the extraordinary experiences of mothers and how, by means of channeling these new and powerful energies a person can cultivate both motherhood and art. However, support is needed and awareness must be raised to facilitate this process and to finally empower it.

We strive to give voice to all women, make acceptable room for “feelings,” sensations, and interpretations without judgment; we want to make space for mothers in the arts to display their work and move a conversation about “the art of motherhood” forward. DOWNLOAD THE PRESS RELEASE.

@ProcreateProj  @MOMmuseum @TheMomEgg #JoinMAMA

slide5This month features Lynn Lu (Pictured on homepage and above here) and Beck Tipper, whose writing is highlighted on the M.A.M.A. page here.

Paradoxes for the Virtual collaborative Skype performance with Birgitta Hosea on YouTube [LINK].
Lab451LONDON; Camden Image Gallery; London, UK. 2015
In a game of Exquisite Corpse, Lynn Lu (live) and Birgitta Hosea (projected from SKYPE) explore intimacy and the generation of interpersonal closeness across a virtual divide through a scored series of shared confidences.

-PREGNANCY AND AFTER MOTHERHOOD INSPIRED SEVERAL OF THE LYNN LU PERFORMANCES AND INSTALLATIONS-

Lynn Lu received a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University with a major in Sculpture and a minor in Graphic Design in 1999. In 1998, she studied with Christian Boltanski at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and at the École Marchutz in Aix-en-Provence. She earned her MFA in New Genres at the San Francisco Art Institute in 2002, and completed a PhD program (ABD) at Musashino Art University in Tokyo in 2008, on a full scholarship from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 2010 she was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy by the University of Newcastle in Australia.

Since 1997, Lynn has exhibited and performed extensively in the United States, Singapore, Japan, China, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia, Australia, New Zealand, UK, France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Poland, Belarus, Czech Republic, Turkey, Greece, Argentina, and Canada.

See more about Lynn at ProcreateProject.com

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To read Andrea O’Reilly’s piece on Feminist Motherhood go to our link here, and read her piece also live online at ProCreate Project.

Art and Performance by Nicola Canavan

Art and Performance by Nicola Canavan: Raising the Skirt

Raising the Skirt: ‘La mar es posa bona si veu el cony d’una dona’, is a Catalan belief in the vagina, translated as ‘the sea calms down if it sees a woman’s cunt’. (Images by Dawn Felicia Knox)
The gesture of lifting the skirt has been translated across the world. It is known as Anasyrma or Ana-Suromai (Ancient Greek), Anlu (Kom Communities) and many others. A flash of the cunt has been known to calm other forces of nature too, in Madras (India) women were known to subdue storms by exposing themselves. In other folklore Women could drive away the devils, evil spirits and warriors as seen in Fontaine’s ‘Nouveaux Contes’, all through the power and beauty of their cunts. ‘Raising the Skirt’ has influenced my practice for many years (www.nicolacanavan.com); by questioning notions of beauty and the status of women socially and culturally across many religions, and how this affects how the female body is translated across mass media; I feel it would be an important step back to go forward, to reclaiming the cunt as a powerful tool in assertion.

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The Mom Egg Review and Marjorie Tesser

Marjorie Tesser photoThere is a lot in store for the Museum of Motherhood over the next couple of months! We’re excited to share the events and projects we have planned leading up to Mother’s Day with you in our upcoming blog entries (including last week’s post about the 2015 conference titled “New Maternalisms” to be held on May 2). We hope that you will share these happenings with your communities and join us for these mother-centric plans.

This week, we’re profiling the Mom Egg Review, which will be celebrated at the Upper West Side Barnes and Noble location at Broadway and W 82nd St on Wednesday, May 7 from 7-9PM. The night will feature readings from select contributors to the collection. And who better to explain the purpose and vision of the Mom Egg Review than its editor, Marjorie Tesser?

For those of you who don’t know her, Marjorie Tesser is a poet and editor of the Mom Egg Review, an independent annual print collection of stories (both fiction and non-), poetry, and art that embraces motherwork. An attorney by training, she can also count editor and entrepreneur as her callings. In addition to editing the Mom Egg Review, Marjorie was also the editor of a compilation of poems called Bowery Women and co-editor of Estamos Aqui: Poems by Migrant Farmworkers. She is the author of two books of poems, The Important Thing Is and The Magic Feather.

Of the Mom Egg Review, Marjorie writes:

Mom Egg Review publishes poetry, fiction, and non-fiction by writers who are mothers or who write about motherhood.

There’s a school of thought in modern literature that the personal narrative is dead, that its narrow point of view speaks little to the complexities of today’s world; that those stories all have been told. But not these stories, of women’s lives—of family and motherhood, of culture, work, love, politics, from diverse women’s viewpoints and experience. For thousands of years, the focus of history and art has come from the perspective of males. But women’s stories and insights are important, vital, for our world.

The Museum of Motherhood (along with its non-profit Motherhood Foundation) believes in the importance of these stories, and supports, promotes, nurtures, and celebrates women and their work in an amazing variety of ways—creative, academic, maternal, and entrepreneurial are just some examples, and consistently fosters connections and collaboration.

Our current issue of Mom Egg Review contains a special poetry folio themed “Compassionate Action”. The poems address urgent circumstances, and explore options for overcoming stasis and aligning hands and feet with minds and hearts.

The Museum of Motherhood is the epitome of such action, telling and showing the truths about mothers’ roles and work and value. The media and the established powers, with their tendency to exalt or disparage motherhood, are not exposing these truths. It’s up to us to insure that our stories get told, and heard. We need to support the institutions that that work to ensure that our voices, our experience, views, needs, and realities, are acknowledged.

Contributed by: Jenny Nigro, MoM Online Intern

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A (Belated) International Women’s Day Reflection

The Dinner Party

Happy belated International Women’s Day! Wanting to do something different to honor the occasion, I decided to take a page out of my own book and make a trip out to the Brooklyn Museum yesterday to see Judy Chicago’s iconic piece of feminist art, The Dinner Party. (Note: my previous post erroneously listed this installation as a special exhibit currently on display at the museum. Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party is actually owned by the Brooklyn Museum, a gift acquired and donated to the museum by Elizabeth Sackler, who also happens to be the benefactor of the museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art. Visitors of the museum can check out The Dinner Party any time in the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art).

I arrived to the museum just in time to catch a late Sunday afternoon tour of the exhibit offered by one of the museum guides. And I’m glad I did – there is as much detail/purpose/intention in the historical and cultural detail of the piece as there is in the craftsmanship of every place setting…or should I say craftswomanship? Because that is (part) of what it is – a piece that honors the contribution of the women artists that historically created intricate china patterns, elaborate weaving designs, and detailed pottery molds. The guide explained that The Dinner Party was, and as it is currently, assembled in a triangle shape, an homage to the vulva and feminine. Each of the three sides of the triangle represent a time period – prehistory-Roman Empire, beginnings of Christianity-Reformation, and finally, American Revolution to second wave feminism.

As we rounded the corner to the second face of the triangle, the guide remarked that most of the women honored there were either nobility or nuns. She asked why we thought that might be. Most of us assumed the first two of the three-part answer: because history was a record of the powerful/wealthy/victorious/ruling class, and because these women were educated. The third part did not come so readily to mind for me. Our guide informed us that furthermore, these classes of women did not bear the sole responsibility of raising children. Noble women had a team of nurses and servants to help rear their children, while nuns did not procreate at all. So these women had more freedom, luxury, and educational capital to participate politically and socially in their milieu.

As the tour drew to a close and I considered the piece one last time, I had to wonder: how much of women’s history went unrecorded because it happened to lay women in the lower social strata, but also, what discoveries, manifestos, and leadership went unnoticed, unwritten, or unfulfilled because women’s labor has been so historically undermined? I bet that Judy Chicago would say that just my imagining these questions would make her work a success.

Written by: Jenny Nigro, MoM online intern