February 5 - March 15, 2014
Reception February 5, 5:00-7:00pm
Lenka Clayton, Mary Kelly, Natalie Loveless, Irene Lusztig, Jill Miller, Mother Art Collective, Alejandra Herrera Silva, Mierle Laderman Ukeles
Curated by Irene Lusztig
Related Programming: symposium and video program
symposium on February 5, 2014 at UCSC
About Complicated Labors
Nearly forty years after Mary Kelly’s* germinal 1976 exhibition of Post-Partum Document, the work of women artists who explicitly engage with images, processes, and experiences of maternity remains marginalized and relatively misrecognized in the art world. Despite a notable resurgence of attention to the maternal in 21st Century art theory and practice, such work is more often than not, read inside a discourse of indulgence, sentimentality, and identity rather than as representative of larger concerns with ecological systems, ethics, care, or labor. Complicated Labors investigates this problem, bringing together historical and contemporary work addressing maternal labor to ask questions about the status of feminism -- and feminist art -- today.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a one-day symposium on February 5, 2014 at UCSC, with a keynote address by *foundational feminist artist Mary Kelly. The symposium will create a space for critical interdisciplinary dialogue around issues of maternity, feminism, art-making, and writing, explicitly putting the 1970s in conversation with the current moment and putting writers in conversation with visual artists.
Complicated Labors builds on recent group exhibitions on the topic, including Myrel Chernick’s and Jennie Klein’s 2004 and 2006 Maternal Metaphors and Maternal Metaphors II and Natalie Loveless’s 2010 New Maternalisms. It also builds on recent books such as Andrea Liss’s 2009 Feminist Art and the Maternal, new journals such as Studies in the Maternal, and new collectives such as Broodwork.
This exhibition and symposium are sponsored by Porter College, Complicated Labor research cluster at UCSC and the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts (UCIRA).
Complicated Labors Artist List
Alejandra Herrera Silva
Complicated Labors Video Program Artist:
Myrel Chernick, Mark and Beth Cooley, Masha Godovanaya, Courtney Kessel, Elina Kevorkian, Dillon Paul and Lindsay Wolkowitz
Complicated Labors Symposium Participants: (website for symposium)
Amra Brooks, Natalie Loveless, Irene Lusztig, Jill Miller, Micah Perks, Carmen Gimenez Smith, Michelle Tea and The Mother Art Collective.
April 9 – May 10
Reception April 9, 5-7pm
Three Lives in Photography: Robert Dawson, Joel Leivick, David Pace
3 UCSC Alumni photographers
Special Alumni event: Saturday, April 26, 4-6pm
Gallery walk-through with the artists at 5pm
in conjunction with Porter Alumni wine tasting event
May 28 – June 14, 2014
Reception: Wednesday, May 28, 5–7:00pm
and don't miss our presense Downtown:
The Sesnon Pop-Up Downtown : First Fridays
Video Links from June 2012:
This project was supported by a grant from the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts (UCIRA) for Shelby Graham, curator of the Sesnon Art Gallery at Porter College, to teach over a dozen students exhibition techniques while exploring their role as community artists. The City of Santa Cruz Arts Program also contributed funds for materials.
The Sesnon Gallery encourages interdisciplinary discourse through the lens of the arts. Gallery hours are Tuesday–Saturday, noon to 5:00pm and Wednesday until 8:00pm. The gallery is located at Porter College, UCSC and is wheelchair accessible. Admission is free and parking is free on Saturdays. Parking permits are available weekdays at the main campus entrance kiosk for $6/day and $4 at the Porter College lot for special events. Group tours are available by appointment at (831) 459-3606.