Wearing the Trousers Makes the Baby Come (2002) was an experimental performance film that presents the maternal body and its physical stories.

In this film the artist coated her body in lard whilst telling stories about the body’s scars from childbearing and childbirth.

The title of the work was an old phrase used in childbirth in which a male garment is believed to encourage the birth of the baby. The irony of this belief at a time when men were not usually present at childbirth and birthing is rarely discussed or presented in mixed company plays with gendered opposites that can pull and push meaning into creation. The work endeavours to direct the gaze towards lived reality, with the body as text to be read and re-written.

The female body is dual and multiple; sexualized and a site of maternity. The accompanying recorded spoken texts are personal – tracing the scars from maternity  – poetic and theoretical  – with many references from Helene Cixous and Luce Irigaray.

It tells a story of the body that reveals the dissonance and ambivalence between body, text and image.

 

Writing about this project was also included in a publication by Blud Zero Collective with Poppy Jackson

Ezine Issue 1 Vagina as Autonomous Zone, 2013

feminist performance