Rearing Art

September 25, 2008

Blend brings together three of Takashima’s works. Two were made six years ago, while one is new. Each piece is part of her ongoing investigation of her role as parent and mother.

She feels it’s a bit of an unusual subject in contemporary art. She has theories about why the topic isn’t dealt with more frequently.

“Maybe there’s not many female artist that have interests in both areas. Or the female artists are hesitant to talk about such a female property in contemporary issues because it becomes too sentimental and it’s not intellectual enough. I don’t know.”

When Takashima found out she was pregnant it became a natural subject for her. Her work had always been strongly autobiographical, and being a mother proved to be an interesting personality study.

She had no qualms about including her children in her work. She says it’s her responsibility as an artist to expose herself so that people can become aware of the issue. And her two children are cooperative models.

“They really enjoy seeing themselves in it. Of course the issues are sort of ambiguous to process right now, but they love it.”

During her pregnancy she kept a video journal -filming her growing belly. She edited the complete journal to include in one of her older works. The one minute video shows her belly growing and shrinking along with doctored footage of the same thing happening to her husband. It is part of her notion that pregnancy isn’t only a female activity.

“If the man had to do child bearing and breast feeding, I would imagine there would be a breast feeding department in universities and all the scholars would be talking about the art of breastfeeding. It would become an institution. But it’s not and people are hesitant to talk about it because it’s not intellectual enough.”

While viewers struggle to define Takashima’s work—is it post-feminist? A beautiful homage to motherhood? Or are her techniques artistically and technologically compelling?—after almost nine years of being a mother, she’s beginning to understand why her project is important.

“[Parenthood] is the most essential thing for the human. It’s the reason why the civilization has advanced -love of your own child. It drives people to become better. But some people forget about it, and deal with the superficial issues of humanity.”

Blend will be on display from Fri September 26 – Sun January 11, 2009 at the <a href=”http://www.aggv.bc.ca&#8221; mce_href=”http://www.aggv.bc.ca”>Art Gallery of Greater Victoria</a>.

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