Noncommercial pregnancy is a capitalist hinterland. Commercial surrogacy is capitalist industry. This screening departs from the call to abolish the family at the heart of Sophie Lewis’s Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism against Family (2019). It includes video and animation works that question the politics of gender, the labor of gestation, parenthood, childhood, and property relations. By invoking possibilities of familial relations beyond their bourgeois, patriarchal, and heteronormative forms, these works explore ways of living that suggest a commitment to transformed kinship and structures of support and care that include solidarity.
Martha Rosler, Born to Be Sold: Martha Rosler Reads the Strange Case of Baby $/M, With Paper Tiger Television, 1988, 35 min
Maria Lassnig, Soul Sisters. Bärbl, 1974/1979, 5 min
Annette Kennerley, Norrie, 1997, 21 min
Tala Madani, The Womb, 2019, 3 min
Presented by Rose-Anne Gush and Barbara Kapusta (in English)
The program will be complemented by a lecture and discussion (both held in English) with Sophie Lewis, author of Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against Family (2019) on November 13, 2020.
Wages for Womb-Work, Polymaternalism, Critical Firestonianism
In this lecture, Lewis will expand on her "critical Firestonianism" (responding to Shulamith Firestone's Dialectic of Sex, 1970), clarifying—with reference to the history of family-abolitionism in queer and women's liberation struggles—what abolishing the family means and does not mean; and what is at stake in de-romanticizing the labor of care. Ultimately, she argues that our conjuncture compels us to re-prioritize the question: What role might automation, another key theme of Firestone’s race-blind utopia, play in a gestator-led struggle in and against the whiteness-reproducing work of capitalist baby-making?
Rose-Anne Gush is an art historian and theorist based in Vienna and Graz. She is working at the IZK – Institute for Contemporary Art, TU Graz.
Barbara Kapusta currently lives and works in Vienna. A central recurring element in her practice is the conjunction of the body with materiality and speech. Materiality becomes entrusted with a queer agency that allows for diversity and vulnerability. Her book Dangerous Bodies was published in 2019 by Gianni Manhattan Vienna and Motto Books, Lausanne and Berlin.
Sophie Lewis is a writer based in Philadelphia, and the author of Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against Family (Verso, 2019). Her work, be it on climate change, transphobic feminism or heterosexuality, is fundamentally oriented toward communist utopia, combining cultural criticism, trans Marxism, queer feminism, and cyborg ecology.