Nicoletta Daríta de la Brown

BirthMother of a Nation

2017 

Performance, Duration: 4 hours  
Installation & Sculptural Objects from Empathy Series
Light Happenings II, LabBodies, Light City Festival 

Take place in "The White House" 10’W X 20’L X 10’H plexi structure is the embodiment of the black mother — an under-appreciated, over-tapped, stolen natural resource used for mass production of industrialized human labor. Nicoletta’s piece highlights ideals of beauty, femininity, and the role of black women in the building of this nation through human reproduction. It is a visual conversation about the past, modern society, lost power, and disconnected motherhood unveiled in the composed installation; reconfigured in a colonized and slavery context. BirthMother nurtures her newborn, while barefoot, and tethered to the box signify the dance she must do to maintain a position not of her own making nor choosing. Wearing a long sleeved latex suit reminiscent of a hero’s garb; her female form and signs of post-birth labor are clearly evident. Upon her head, a glorious crown headpiece denoting her strength and royal heritage. Viewers experienced the intimate time that BirthMother has with her newborns, those few precious moments to love on and prepare them, before releasing into a world that does not appreciate. Images and sounds of fetal heartbeat, coos, and drums evoke the womb; a place of warmth and love. 

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