mOther(ness), Maja Smrekar

narrator Maja Smrekar
term mOther(ness)

The term mOther(ness) arose during a practice-based artistic research executed in a course of a few months of activity by preparing my body for lactation. It culminated when I gained colostrum and breastfed my canine puppy in a public performance titled Hybrid Family (2016). When starting the process I felt the need to particularize my own motherness from the perspective of overpopulation and threats to biodiversity, all evoked by globalized capitalism that seems to pursue its path of destruction until everything is consumed. Stimulated by the writing of Rosi Braidotti, I was addressing the myth of humanity, which has been based on universal values and human exceptionalism. By further dwelling towards the arts of living on a damaged planet and the possibility of life in these capitalist ruins, I was drawn to think within the discourse of Donna Haraway who poses the question: „what is decolonial feminist reproductive freedom in a dangerously troubled multispecies world?“ An attempt to answer this question led me to think beyond the law of genus and species or race or gender, and it became clear to me that I needed to come up with a construction that happens on a micro-political level. I, therefore, adopted a microperformative method to execute my interspecies symbiosis concept on a molecular level. In combination with a collaterally triggered oxytocin hormone stimulated by breast pumping and later by breastfeeding, increasingly expressed as a feeling of empathy in my body, such microperformativity became the point of departure for Hybrid Family in order to arrive at the process of becoming the Other as a mOther.