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"The M Word puts the most hallowed and fraught life relationship of all into the center of visual culture. Working through feminist ambivalence about motherhood (in all of its myriad and motley forms), this collection offers a crucial corrective to the dearth of discussions about life choices and living tensions for creative women in art and art discourse. With a range of key feminist artists, art historians, and theorists addressing topics from Mexican feminist art collectives to the Holocaust and mothering to queer mothering, this book presents a range of rigorous thinking in textual and visual form. In The M Word, maternity, as a state, an ideology, an "image," becomes the perfect pivot through which to examine women imagining ourselves into the sometimes incompatible roles of caring, care-taking, thinking, and making."
- Amelia Jones, Grierson Chair in Visual Culture, Department of Art History and Communication Studies, McGill University
"The M Word is a welcome addition to the fields of both maternal and art historical studies. In their strong introduction, Myrel Chernick and Jennie Klein provide a smart historical grounding for the intersections of mothering and visual art. The union of scholarly and narrative voices and the range of visual material included offer a compelling framework for this volume devoted to a significant and (always) timely topic."
- Rachel Epp Buller, editor of Reconciling Art and Mothering
"The central importance of this title lies in the richness of the work collected together, and in particular in its creation of a political archive of feminist artwork that engages with the maternal. It will be a key book in the area of feminist art theory. The wonderful interview with Mary Kelly is an important piece of art historical documentation in itself."
- Imogen Tyler, Senior Lecturer and Leverhulme Research Fellow, Sociology Department, Lancaster University
This important new collection has seven sections examining multiple aspects of mothering in contemporary art: History, Criticism, Theory, Artists’ Writings, Text/Image work, Interviews, and Visual Art.
This stunning book includes full colour photographs and contributions from: Mary Kelly, Susan Suleiman, Mignon Nixon, Jane Gallop, Margaret Morgan, Andrea Liss, Aura Rosenberg, Barbara T. Smith, Sherry Millner, Ellen McMahon, Renée Cox, Gail Rebhan, Marion Wilson, Judy Glantzman, Denise Ferris, Youngbok Hong, Camille Billops, Patricia Cué, Monica Mayer, Cheri Gaulke, and more.
Myrel Chernick is an artist and writer living in New York City. She has shown her text-based multimedia installations nationally and internationally, lectured widely and curated the exhibit Maternal Metaphors that includes the work of 15 international artists and has been presented twice. In addition to working with the Peculiar Works Project on an Off-Off Broadway production of the Beggars Opera she is currently writing and illustrating a hybrid novel that takes place in Paris and New York.
Jennie Klein’s primary areas of research lie in contemporary art, art criticism, feminist art, and performance art. She is a contributing editor for Art Papers and Performance Art Journal (PAJ), and a member of the editorial board of Genders. She has published in n.paradoxa, Art History, New Art Examiner, and Afterimage. She is the editor of Linda Montano, Letters from Linda M. Montano (London: Routledge, 2005), the co-curator, along with Rebecca McGrew, of The 21st Century Odyssey: The Performance Work of Barbara T. Smith, and the co-curator, along with Myrel Chernick, of Maternal Metaphors: Artists, Mothers, Art work. Professor Klein has also written several catalogue essays, including the primary essays for The 21st Century Odyssey and Maternal Metaphors.
Myrel Chernick and Jennie Klein
I. CONVERSATIONS AND QUESTIONS
On Love, Politics and Fallen Shoes: Margaret Morgan in Conversation with Mary Kelly
Mary Kelly and Margaret Morgan
Excerpts from Post-Partum Document
Ruth Skilbeck in Conversation with Mary Kelly and Kelly Barrie
Mary Kelly and Kelly Barrie
“Good Enough Mothers”: Myrel Chernick in Conversation with Susan Rubin Suleiman
Susan Rubin Suleiman and Myrel Chernick
My Mother’s Silver Pin
Susan Rubin Suleiman
The Body in Question: Rethinking Motherhood, Alterity and Desire
II. MATERNAL METAPHORS I
Maternal Metaphors I
Curated by Myrel Chernick
III. CONTEMPORARY ART AND THE MATERNAL: ARTICULATING THE MATERNAL METAPHOR IN FEMINIST ART
“We Don’t Talk About Mothers Here”: Seeking the Maternal in Holocaust Memoir and Art
Make Room for Mommy: Feminist Artists and My Maternal Musings
S.O.S.: Searching for the Mother in the Family Album
Maria Assumpta Bassas Vila
The Coffins: Xerox Books
Barbara T. Smith
Visualizing Maternity in Contemporary Art: Race, Culture, Class
Observations of a Mother
Jane Gallop and Dick Blau
IV. MATERNAL METAPHORS II, DOUBLEBIND
Maternal Metaphors ii
Curated by Myrel Chernick and Jennie Klen
Cheri Gaulke and Sue Maberry
Doublebind. kunst. kinder. karriere
Curated by Signe Theill
V. FINDING THE MATERNAL IN THE VISUAL FIELD: PRACTICE, NARRATIVES, IMAGES
On Mommas and Mothers
The Studio Visit
Art Between Us
Afterimage: A Journal of Making Art and Mothering Teens
Nadja Millner-Larsen and Sherry Millner
After Long Winter
with images from Fat and Blood (and how to make them) by Sarah E. Webb
Milk and Tears: Performing Maternity
Sarah E. Webb
(L)IF(E), AS IN MY ...
BabyLove: How My Infant Son Became the Other Man
VI. THE M WORD, MOTHER/mother-*
curated by Jennifer Wroblewski