project image
Macus Alonso

first performed on June 12, 2020
Chicago Art Department
performed once in 2020

MotherArt: Revisited

Susan Krueger Barber, Sonja Blum, Marjorie Boyles, Jamie Nakagawa Boley, Laura Drey, Elisabeth Dzuricsko, Margarita Fainshtein, Patricia RAIN Gianneschi, Clareese Hill, Beth Iska, Monica Kelsie, Jenny Keyser, Jessica Mueller, Joanne Tepper Saffren, Erin Schalk, Kris Schaedig, Galina Shevchenko, Marika Whitaker, Valerie A Xanos, and CAD studio resident Macus Alonso.

Chicago, IL / Brooklyn, NY / Houston, TX / Detroit, MI / Los Angeles, CA / Folsom, CA / Boston, MA / Provo, UT / San Joaquin Valley, CA / Halifax, NS, Canada

MotherArt: Revisited

MotherArt: Revisited is a Chicago-based international collective of mother artists, committed to carving out space to support one another in maintaining active/sustainable artistic practices. We work in the spirit of the original Mother Art Collective which began in the 1970s within the Women’s Building in San Francisco and gained notoriety for their fearless aesthetics and Anti War pop-up art interventions.

“Mother to Mother, Virtually. Knots & Nodes.” was an enduring performance and a manifestation of maternal resilience initiated on location at the Chicago Art Department. It evolved during the lockdown as the pandemic and racial injustice unrest in the country unfolded. This performative exhibition became an opportunity for us to explore collective making and performance practice, share evocations of love, care and commitment, untangle imminent pending issues and transmit nodes of new meanings through mothering/art process and creative exchange on barriers that our society has encountered in the midst of the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter uprising. This enduring performance was transmitted virtually from June 12, 2020 to June 28, 2020.

In the cavernous North Central gallery of Chicago Art Department, a gigantic clothing line, a motif from previous MAR installations and a tribute to the original Mother Art Collective, was knotted to become a new collaboration, and included a virtual broadcast set/site localizing and expanding nodes of interconnectedness between the artwork, artists and the community. Our performance began through the physical construction of a clothing line; we worked collectively through carefully choreographed strategic movements, efficiently populating the clothing line with artwork while social distancing, knotting through the physical space while untangling the meaning of the current situation of the pandemic, racial inequality, and police brutality. The clothing line localized the material manifestations/artworks that had been produced on the fly as anti-racist protests shook the country. Our regular Instagram & Facebook live transmissions, led by multiple group members from the clothing line site and from other locations extended the line virtually and created safe pathways to manifest, question, connect, discuss, untangle and nurture our community and our audience. Suddenly we found ourselves needing to engage with typically oppressive tools of social media in new ways. Conceptually, materially, and virtually it all became one living organism. We pinned on-the-line our innermost concerns: suicide prevention, racial inequality, isolation, abuse, birth and re-birth and loss, labor, identity, body image, immigration, and generational healing.