162 slides of text are projected two at a time in a dark room. The slides are programmed to dissolve in and out during an approximately 12-minute loop. The texts range from paragraphs to short phrases to single words in a meditation on creativity and procreativity, the possible conflation of female voices—mother, artist, daughter, lover—that asks questions, fractures stories, and changes color gradually, fading in and out from pink left/blue right to blue left/pink right, conveying the wide range of thought and activity, connection and disjunction that comprises the artist/mother’s life. The language in the short texts functions as a substitute for the images in a traditional slide show.
Frazer Ward writes in the essay “Foreign and Familiar Bodies” in the catalog of the exhibition Dirt and Domesticity in 1992:
She Was, She Wasn’t is unreliably reflexively autobiographical. It shifts about among fragments of first-person narrative and apparently fictional narrative; between observation, speculation and quotation. Here experience guarantees little: the conventional round of domesticity, the relation between motherhood and femininity,is itself a complex, ongoing interplay of representations, a continuous process of intermingling. In short, it’s a mess. And just as well.
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