film image

Saints & Sinners, film, 3 minutes, Barcelona, 2004

Shown at REVOLVER exhibition with Jesse Leroy Smith, PZ Gallery, 2010

Juxtaposing footage of a mother begging in the streets and votive statues of the Virgin Mother in a festive, much visited church, the video visually draws out the ambivalences and contradictions of the institution of motherhood, which is at once denigrated and revered.

There is no escape it seems from the iron bars behind which the religious statues are housed, or the cars that hide and frame the begging mother. These confining structures trap and contain mothers and meaning. The film juxtaposes and contrasts the separate spheres of idealized maternity (the Madonna) with the lived reality of motherhood (the mother begging). The ambient upbeat festive music of the religious grotto emphasizes the dissonance and critical distance between the icons and effigies of the virgin birth, and the mother begging on the streets. Playing with multiple images, questions the way that contemporary Western society thinks of mothers in the hope that we can find new ways of thinking about her.

View other work that deals with visualising motherhood