How to not Exclude Artist Mothers (and Other Parents)
a conversation with HETTIE JUDAH
and MIRTHE BERENTSEN
Join us on Saturday the 4th of February when Hettie Judah and Mirthe Berentsen will highlight topics discussed in the book How to not Exclude Artist Mothers (and Other Parents) at A Tale of A Tub, aligning with the exhibition Where shall we plant the placenta? in which motherhood and ecology are compared as well as connecting them from mutual notions of care and concern.
For too long, artists have been told that they can't have both motherhood and a successful career. In the polemical volume How to not Exclude Artist Mothers (and Other Parents), critic and campaigner Hettie Judah argues that a paradigm shift is needed within the art world to take account of the needs of artist mothers (and other parents: artist fathers, parents who don't identify with the term "mother," and parents in other sectors of the art world). Drawing on interviews with artists internationally, the book highlights some of the success stories that offer models for the future, from alternative support networks and residency models, to studio complexes with onsite childcare, and galleries with family-friendly policies.
“Within the arts we can endlessly discuss all kinds of care and nurture and its importance in panels, exhibitions and articles. But as long as you keep the ultimate form of long-term care, parenthood, outside this sum no actual change is possible”, Mirthe Berentsen wrote in this month's issue of Metropolis M in an essay about Judah's book. Berentsen is currently writing a new book about art and the politicisation of motherhood for Dutch publisher Das Mag and a podcast entitled Tussen Kunst en Kind, about parenthood within the arts. Together they will discuss art and parenthood, the compartmentalisation of domestic and creative lives, the disadvantages of the current structures of the art world and that by making changes and becoming more sensitive to the needs of artist parents, the art world has much to gain.
Please note that unfortunately, Where Shall We Plant the Placenta? will no longer be on view during the event as we prepare for the upcoming installation of Beyond a Certain Point There is No Return curated by Katia Krupennikova from Wednesday the 8th of February.
Hettie Judah is a British art critic, broadcaster and writer who has spent many years dealing with the subject of art and motherhood. Following the publication of her 2020 study on the impact of motherhood on artists' careers, she collaborated with a group of artists in 2021 on the manifesto How Not To Exclude Artist Parents, now available in 15 languages. In 2022, Hettie co-founded the Art Working Parents Alliance with Jo Harrison - a support network and campaign group for curators, academics, gallerists, technicians, educators and others working in the arts. Her recent books are How Not To Exclude Artist Mothers (and other parents) (Lund Humphries, September 2022) and Lapidarium (John Murray, London, October 2022/Penguin, NY, March 2023).
Mirthe Berentsen is a writer, artist and advisor. She studied Literature at the University of Amsterdam and Comparative Literature and Linguistics at the Freie Universität in Berlin. Berentsen writes reviews and essays for various newspapers and magazines on art, culture and political-social developments (including the Dutch NRC Handelsblad, Vrij Nederland, De Groene Amsterdammer, De Volkskrant, the German Die Welt and international art magazines like Art Asia Pacific, Modern Painters, Frieze, Art Basel Magazine, E-FLUX and Sleek). Furthermore Berentsen works as a strategic cultural policy advisor for several organisations and art institutions, such as Raad voor Cultuur. Currently, Berentsen is working on a new book about the art and the politicisation of motherhood for the Dutch publisher Das Mag and a podcast entitled Tussen Kunst en Kind, about parenthood within the arts (in which Hettie Judah will be one of the guests).