Maternal Mitochondria’s project “Original Face: In the Water” is a part of the 19th Edition of the Pollux Awards, which will be followed by a show at FotoNostrum’s gallery in December of 2023. All of the winners in various categories can be found here. Look for us in Non-Professional: Nude and Figure!
“Original Face” is a long-term photography project documenting the female members of my family and placing them in collaged environments which speak to the sublime, the doors of life and death opening and closing, and the perspective of the hidden v the seen. When the male gaze is removed, what is left? Is this the female gaze, the gaze of the self-portrait? Who is the subject and who is the object. What does it mean to have a self, a no self, an existential void within an embodied subject.
This project was made in collaboration with my mother, the poet Miriam Sagan. We work together as “Maternal Mitochondria,” handing the camera back and forth, writing back and forth. Therefore the patriarchal hierarchy of artistic endeavor is broken, and the matrilineal line is strengthened. This is how we see ourselves and each other. This is how we see.
I will be in an upcoming show at Woman Made Gallery in Chicago! The 24th International Open runs from March 18th-April 22nd, and all of the work can be viewed online as well. Please contact the gallery for sale inquires.
Catch the annual Foto Forum Santa Fe Members’ Show! The opening reception will be Friday February 3rd, 5pm to 7pm. The show will be up until the end of March. For more information, visit Foto Forum’s website.
Maternal Mitochondria presents “Seeing with Each Other’s Eyes,” as part of Vol. 15 of Creative Santa Fe’s Pecha Kucha Nights, “Perception.” Click on the link above to view the 6′ 40″ video, featuring visual art and spoken word poetry.
The Spell is an upcoming show in the Visual Arts Gallery at Santa Fe Community College, showcasing work by Maternal Mitochondria. I’m really excited to showing at my alma mater and with so many local artists whom I admire!
Miriam Sagan will be opening The Poetry Yard this year, an outside space where sculpture and poetry can be fully experienced. Here is a sneak peak at the first sculpture to go up- a permanent feature of the yard. Made entirely of recycled materials, this land art project helps direct rainfall by incorporating a dry pond. The sculpture’s relationship with the land may change over time- will the wood rot when exposed to water? Or will it remain an ever present reminder of fire and drought? As our climate changes, the sculpture may reflect that change on a local level. Along with the ambiguity and anxiety of climate change, “Desiccation: Dormancy: Deluge” brings up issues of human consumption and how different organisms feed. The sculpture takes inspiration from saprophytic fungi (mushrooms that consume dead wood) and the twin processes of parasitic and symbiotic growth. The plastic and dairy industries are an ambiguous two-edged sword- using unsustainable environmental practices while at the same time greatly expanding human access to food and vital resources. So the question is: how do we achieve a balance between human needs and biological destruction?
“The Gagosian states that the selected group of “paintings, sculptures, and photographs on view demonstrate how the female figure has been reimagined and reconfigured by modern and contemporary artists of diverse backgrounds and traditions,” however, it features only 5 female-identifying artists out of 28 artists total. Of these 28 artists, a majority are white. This leads to an exhibit that not only is lacking in a diversity of backgrounds and traditions, but one that is also blatantly ignoring the conjunctions between race and gender.
Unfortunately, the exhibit put on by the Gagosian is only too representative of past and current norms surrounding the viewpoints society platforms for creation and consumption surrounding the figural.
We wish to counter Bustes de Femmes and the other of 1000s of exhibits like it, by presenting the works of femxle and queer identifying artists whose skill in figural portraiture demonstrates a diverse array of contemporary visions, sensitivities, and/or ideals, that usurp or unconventionally assume the traditional utilization of the male and/or dominant gazes. The goal is to address institutionalized gender roles and gendered racial stereotypes, and the subsequent sexism and racism perpetuated by them. This is in order to facilitate the interrogation and examination of the traditional motives and depictions of gender and sex, while proposing new or uncommon narratives. These ideas will be addressed from queer and femxle perspectives that are traditionally unheard from, in order to reimagine and reconstruct traditional racialized and gendered power structures upon which these institutionalized spaces were built and thrive. This is in order to combat the unequal ratio of queer and femxle art and perspectives that are being showcased within the museum and art worlds via institutions.”