THE MOOD BACK HOME, an exhibition inspired by Womanhouse
Momenta Art in Brooklyn, NY, February 12 - March 16, 2009
Photo Credit: Alyson Aliano
Though the dreaded career/family dilemma that some women face in their late 30's is well documented in popular culture, it hasn't been addressed enough in art circles. Time travelers and painters Leslie Brack and Suzy Spence, reflect on their parallel lives as emerging artists cum homemakers by curating a group exhibition of women artists, THE MOOD BACK HOME, to take place at Williamsburg gallery Momenta Art, in Brooklyn, NY on February 12 â€“ March 16, 2009.
The shared challenges of balancing career â€“ going from exhibiting work to changing diapers â€“ inspired conversations and a shared enthusiasm for the seminal feminist project WOMANHOUSE (1972). This landmark project appealled to Brack and Spence because it was the product of their mothersâ€™ generation, when women artists undertook a critical negotiation of motherhood, marriage, domestic work, and their careers. (Please visit www.suzyspence.com/womanhouse to learn more about Womanhouse).
Reviewing the sparsely documented Womanhouse project together, Brack and Spence found that the installations â€œWomb Roomâ€ (Faith Wilding), â€œMenstruation Bathroomâ€ (Judy Chicago), and the all-pink â€œKitchenâ€ (collaborative), still held their relevance 37 years later, evoking an uncomfortable laughter with their direct, raw interpretations of gender inequality and domestic issues. Like â€œWOMANHOUSE,â€ the exhibition, â€œThe Mood Back Home,â€ will address the stubborn nature of gender-prescribed domesticity and its effect on women artists. The exhibition will highlight Johanna Demetrakasâ€™ documentary film, â€œWomanhouse,â€ in the gallery, but will otherwise focus on work of a new generation of women, the ostensible inheritors of 70s era feminism.
â€œWe heard the cautionary tales from an older generation of artists that art and children don't mix, but I rebelled and took the challenge. Then I wondered, was I crazy? Motherhood was a wake up call that echoed through the ages, helping me to make sense of the efforts of artists like Judy Chicago, Lynda Benglis, Karen Finley and The Guerilla Girls,â€ says Suzy Spence.