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B I R T H I N G is a series of 30 works - performances, photography, paintings and drawings - that intend to explore the hidden aspects of birthing. Based on photographic birth narratives, accounts of my mother's experience giving birth to me, and blurry if-even-true personal memories of my own birth materialise in an imagined birth process.

I have never given birth to a human baby.

Hidden aspects of birth: The cold and clinical environment in which most babies are born in Western culture fascinates and repels me at the same time. The teal of the tiles and the mold symbolise this environment. The magic of the umbilical cord as the eternal golden thread connecting all of us survives and permeates this cold environment.

The raincoat: Being about birth, this series is an experiment with different fabrics of existence, so to speak - searching for materials that support the message of the works. The raincoat once protected me from a torrential downpour. 

I cut it into pieces to accommodate for the babies, shielding and protecting like an amniotic sac.

"This never happened".

This woman does not exist.

Those bubbles are not coming out from a bathtub.

This blood was never shed. 


After birth: These paintings are made on an old yoga mat. The material had detached into layers at the places where hand and feet are positioned during practice. A cat ate a piece of the left rim. The material is soft and used, treated roughly, but always catches the body. The tired body, the strong body, the awakening body, the relaxing body, the body. Women are expected to "loose weight" and get "back into shape" after birth. They are supposed to do yoga. Pregnancy yoga and after-pregnancy yoga. Exercise. They are supposed to take good care of their babies. I cut the mat into three pieces. Two of them show the stretched. "excess", skin and belly fat held by the mother. The third piece shows the other side (the mat turned around):

The softness and proximity of the baby sucking milk from the breast. 

These two works are made on polypropylene bags. Once used to carry soil to fill a planting box - my friends helped me, and I was not able to carry any one of those bags due to a recent surgery: I had a hole in my belly and it was stitched. "Amniotic sac" cites the very long arm of "The Boy in the Red Vest" by Paul Cézanne. "Frau am Abgrund" was made second in an endeavour to create a better composition than in "Amniotic sac". I used the golden spiral to position the woman, the baby, and he amniotic sac. She is fishing, but the baby tells her it is dead, its body is floating on the surface. We all know, and the baby knows as well, that it is not dead. It is simply trying to tell the woman that she must stop fishing. The nutrition system is already intact - amniotic sac, baby, ocean - and the woman holding the umbilical cord is not needed. In fact, as she is holding the cord in such an unsteady position sitting on the edge of a precipice, she risks falling. She should: let go of the cord, carefully lean back, support her upper body with both arms, then turn around, get up, and walk away into the land. 

I was hesitant to add these pictures. They make me sad. I don't want to make you sad. It is a woman behind glass - the feeling of being cut off form the world, of not getting through. I imagine that many women might feel alone after birth. It makes me sad to think this. I want us to support each other. We are all connected...

I am ending this series with the theme of the eternal golden thread inspired by the book "Gödel, Escher, Bach - An Eternal Golden Braid" by Douglas R. Hofstadter. Will we continue and reproduce, or break the thread? 

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