Corinne May Botz “Milk Factory”

Baxter Street/ the Camera Club of NY

poster for Corinne May Botz “Milk Factory”

This event has ended.

Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York and the National YoungArts Foundation present 2018 YoungArts | Baxter St Resident Corinne Botz’s solo show, Milk Factory at the 128 Baxter St Project Space. A sustained focus on space, gender, and the body is central to Botz’s practice. Past subjects have included miniature crime scene reconstructions, domestic ghost-sightings, the homes of agoraphobics, personal belongings left after car accidents, everyday objects instrumental in violent deaths, hoarding, objectophilia, and medical simulations. Visualizing lactation rooms represents a natural evolution of her interests. Lactation rooms are everyday spaces that embody deeply felt subjective experiences of motherhood. Symbolically and materially, expressed milk is a substitute for the mother’s physical presence and emotional intimacy when separated from her child. Botz’s photographs offer insight into women’s personal experiences, the maternal body’s status in the workplace, and fundamental socio-political issues pertaining to the family.

The absence of mandated paid maternity leave causes women’s return to work soon after giving birth, making pumping pervasive in America. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants feed exclusively on breast milk for the first six months after birth. Women must pump milk every few hours in order to continue to produce milk. Although The Affordable Care Act requires some employers to provide lactation rooms, only 40% of women have access to dedicated pumping spaces. Moreover, lacking secure, dedicated spaces, women pump in cars, bathrooms, utility closets, etc. Bodily expectations at work are at odds with the practicalities of lactating women, thus the production of a gendered and secluded space where the maternal body is banished. Pumping is sometimes considered liberating because it allows women to have more autonomy and participate in the workplace, but it also erases the intimacy of breastfeeding and bodily contact. Lactation rooms are an inadequate substitute for maternity leave.

In Botz’s photographs, the breast pump and baby photographs on cell phones, which women commonly view in order to stimulate milk flow, are surrogates for the child. Milk Factory reflects some of the ideological contradictions inherent in modern parenthood and government policies. The images are named for the diverse professions of the pumping women. The solitary pumping rooms take on collective power through the accumulation of photographs.

Coffee Talks: Tues, April 16 and Sat, April 27 | 11am
Panel Talk: Wednesday, April 24, 2019 | 7pm



from April 16, 2019 to April 27, 2019

Opening Reception on 2019-04-17 from 18:30 to 20:30

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