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Troubling Mothers

The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home presents Affective Exchange of Labour between Invisible Mother and Underpaid Au Pair

Author:

Lena Simic

About Lena
Lena Simic, is a performance artist, born in Dubrovnik, Croatia, and living in Liverpool, UK. She trained in theatre directing/acting at Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts in Bratislava, Slovakia and London Academy of Performing Arts. She completed a practice-as-research PhD (Dis)Identifying Female Archetypes in Live Art at the Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts at Lancaster University, in 2007. She is currently Lecturer in Drama and Theatre Studies at Liverpool Hope University. Recent solo performances include Masha Serghyeevna (the Bluecoat 2009), Sid Jonah Anderson by Lena Simic (MAP Live, Carlisle, 2008), Joan Trial (Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster, 2005) Medea/Mothers’ Clothes (Bluecoat Arts Centre, Liverpool, 2004) and Magdalena Makeup (Art Workshop Lazareti, Dubrovnik 2004). She is currently co-organizing the Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home, an art activist initiative, run from a spare bedroom of her council house. Lena has toured her performances nationally and internationally; her and the Institute’s work have been presented at the National Review of Live Art in Glasgow, Leeds Met Studio Theatre, V & A Museum, Artsadmin in London, Arnolfini in Bristol, Odin Teatret in Denmark, and Teatro Guiñol in Santa Clara, Cuba, amongst others.
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Abstract

This paper will introduce and contextualise the art activist initiative the Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home, run from a council house in Liverpool, UK. The paper will discuss the invisible maternal labour and underpaid au pair labour in relation to the projects, which took place through the Institute: Sid Jonah Anderson by Lena Simic (MAP Live, Carlisle 2008), Au Pair Artist Wants to be part of the Liverpool EU Capital of Culture 2008 with Great British Family (Cvjeticanin, 2008) and The Hazardous Family (Hazard Festival, Manchester, 2008). Particular focus will be paid to Polygon artist Branka Cvjeticanin and her artist residency that took place at the Institute in Liverpool and lasted 14 days in July 2008. These arts projects will be contextualised with the historical, materialist, feminist art from the late 1960s and 1970, and more contemporarily, within cultural contexts that the Institute defines as anti-capitalist and/or feminist, both of which are particularly adept at outlining formulations of cultural agency through the rubric of the personal as political. The three arts projects aim to offer a playful as well as affective social critique on the invisibility of maternal labour, whilst bearing in mind and referencing different histories, memories, economies and geopolitical locations, past and present. Finally, the paper ends by opening up an argument for affective ‘creative exchange’ (Iris Marion Young), which can take place through multiple subjective encounters, shared between artists, parents, children, feminist histories, theories and labour.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/sim.87
How to Cite: Simic, L., (2010). The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home presents Affective Exchange of Labour between Invisible Mother and Underpaid Au Pair. Studies in the Maternal. 2(1), pp.1–11. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/sim.87
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Published on 01 Jan 2010.
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