ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
Universal Declaration of Infantile Anxiety Situations Reflected in the Creative Impulse is an exhibition by My Barbarian collective, who are artists Malik Gaines, Jade Gordon, and Alexandro Segade. Founded in Los Angeles in 2000, My Barbarian combines elements of theater and visual art to create interdisciplinary works in video, music, performance, drawing, and sculpture. Their solo exhibition at Gallery 400 includes a live staging of the
group’s adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s 1932 play, The Mother, and a video, Universal Declaration of Infantile Anxiety Situations Reflected in the Creative Impulse (2013). Alongside Universal Declaration… and video documentation of the performances, paper-mâché masks and drawings associated with the performance activate the gallery space. The drawings refer alternately to the woodcuts of painter Mary Cassatt and the drawings of Käthe Kollwitz, whose images of motherhood inform the entire exhibition.
On two occasions, My Barbarian performs a live staging of their adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s 1932 play, The Mother. Telling the story of a working-class mother who becomes increasingly radicalized on the eve of the Bolshevik Revolution, the play centers on the power of the maternal affective relationship to foster social change. The video Universal Declaration… (2013) stages playful scenarios that convey both continuity and change in feminist, conceptual artistic, and familial projects as they move through generations. In a series of interconnected “short films,” Gaines, Gordon, and Segade perform with their own mothers as well as influential artists Eleanor Antin and Mary Kelly, enacting a personal and political matrilineage. Incorporating video, live theatrical performance, and hand-made objects, Universal Declaration of Infantile Anxiety Situations Reflected in the Creative Impulse explores feminist legacies, the symbolism of a maternal order, first loves, and performance collective My Barbarian’s personal negotiations as daughters, sons, students, teachers, and working mothers.
Opening Reception, September 5, 5-8 pm.
Performance by Malik Gaines, September 5, 6:30 pm.
Performance of ‘The Mother’ by My Barbarian, September 19. 7-9 pm and September 20, 3-5 pm.
Malik Gaines, Jade Gordon, and Alexandro Segade.