Milk Mother

Performance installation, 2016 + 2015

Milk kinship was a form of developing alliances in hierarchical societies between a woman and the family of her non-biological children whom she breastfed.   Widely practiced among numerous religious communities, breastmilk became a political tool utilized by many peasant women to maintain a relationship with the aristocracy through their children.  Milk Mother is reminiscent of this practice, a nude woman lies at the center of an elevated platform surrounded by nude men whom drink from goblets of milk.  The milk mother replenishes their cups, sometimes pouring milk on the bodies of the men who rub and smear the liquid onto their flesh.  

While milk kinship is rarely practiced today, the female-as-mother has been fetishized and elevated within the socio-political environment. Anti-choice legislation, largely proposed and supported by male legislators, is an attempt to force motherhood upon women with no regard for her personal family planning decisions.  A childless woman remains stigmatized, a woman who seeks control over her reproductive health is villainized. As a result, motherhood continues to be utilized as social currency, a requirement within conservative communities, and a mandate in which eroticised pleasure is derived from imposing control over the wombs of the nation's women.