Dialectic of Desire
Single-Channel Video
Edition of 4 and 2 Artist’s Proofs
Dimensions Variable

During the time that I was involved in Surrogate Search, and was deeply invested in the lives of four mothers and their families spanning North Carolina, New York and Pennsylvania, one of my surrogate mothers, Laura, gifted me a porcelain Lenox figurine called “Mother’s Quiet Time.” As part of the 1994 Jewels Collection, she told me that her mother had given it to her as a means of both pacifying and rectifying years of their tumultuous relationship. Laura described how the figurine served as a physical manifestation of the impossible ideal expected between the mother and child under the patriarchal institution of motherhood. In order to ease this tension, I cast the statue and then removed the child from the arms of the mother, keeping in mind both the historical and contemporary notions of iconoclasm. It is likely that my literal erasure of the child foreshadowed my decision to work exclusively with just one surrogate mother. The sound is by Paul Swartzel.