The exhibition Love in a Mist (and the Politics of Fertility) in the Druker Design Gallery at Harvard Graduate School of Design includes the work of Dutch artists Yael Bartana, Desirée Dolron, Women on Waves and Joep van Lieshout. Moreover, designer Malkit Shoshan, director of Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory, has curated the exhibition.
Love in a Mist (and the Politics of Fertility) explores several evolving narratives on the spaces and politics of fertility, triggered by the “heartbeat bills”, which recently passed into law in states such as Mississippi, Kentucky, and Georgia to criminalize abortions from as early as six weeks into pregnancy.
The exhibition explores society’s quest to control women and nature, and the resulting environmental degradation. It brings together issues such as the historical use of synthetic hormones in women’s bodies; measures to super-size farmed animals and domesticate plants, and techniques to accelerate fertility and extract natural resources.
From the treatment of women’s bodies to the exploitative human relationship with nature, Love in a Mist examines spaces of fertility including abortion clinics, artificial wombs, courtrooms, farmed landscapes, and swamps, as extrapolated from diverse accounts and imaginaries by scholars, activists, legislators, ecologists, biologists, artists, and designers.
The artworks in the exhibition number, among others, Women on Waves’ portable abortion clinic, Lori Brown’s maps of clinics in Texas, Bernie Krouse’s audio recordings of the diminishing soundscapes of extinction in nature, and Desirée Dolron’s video art featuring Uncertain, the Caddo Lake, and Complex Systems.
*Love in the Mist or Nigella sativa is a large purple flower with black seeds. The seeds are known for their diverse health benefits for the heart, brain, and liver. It is also said that in ancient times they were used to help regulate fertility or induce contraction of the womb and abortions.
Yael Bartana will provide a lecture on October 30, marking the opening of the exhibition Love in a Mist (and the Politics of Fertility). The lecture will be followed by a reception in the gallery and is free and open to the public. More information.
Curator, research, and exhibition design: Malkit Shoshan
Participating , activists, artists, and designers: Yael Bartana, Lori Brown, Desirée Dolron, FAST, Rebecca Gomperts, Bernie Krause, Joep van Lieshout, Tabita Rezaire, and Women on Waves
Graphic design: Sandra Kassenaar
Production: Dan Borelli and David Zimmerman-Stuart
Installers: Ray Coffey, Jef Czekaj, Anita Kan, Sarah Lubin, Jesus Matheus, and Joanna Vouriotis
Research assistant: Carolina Sepúlveda
Production assistant: Inés Benítez Gómez