Carmen Winant My Birth 2018

  • Not on view

This work is composed of over two thousand images of women preparing for and in the process of labor and childbirth. Winant is conscious of the ways the work of women is both visible and invisible: the activities shown here are widespread
and essential, and yet pictures of them are not common, even in our image-saturated culture. The artist sourced masses of material from diverse books and magazines, many from several decades past, including those aimed at empowering women (such as Our Bodies, Ourselves, first published in 1971). She acquired some imagery by sifting through
the inventory of used bookstores and mining the offerings at garage and estate sales.

As Winant has pointed out, “There’s so much deaccessioned material now. The digital world is expanding and the analog world is contracting. Libraries are purging; it’s an important time to be collecting.” Another source of images was a network of women’s health workers and midwives that the artist had tapped into. Though she organizes these materials by category while working in her studio, the relationships that form between the components on the wall once the
images are installed are not necessarily obvious, allowing for multiple readings, some seemingly contradictory, others complementary.

Gallery label from Being: New Photography, 2018
Medium
Approx. 2,000 found papers and photographic prints with tape
Dimensions
Dimensions variable
Credit
The Modern Women's Fund
Object number
1117.2018
Copyright
© 2020 Carmen Winant
Department
Photography
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