Mothers Garden

The pale face of the woman gives allusions to physical as well as psychological coldness. One of the effects that are used to emphasize this is her frozen position - she stands in a static position, completely rooted to the spot in a winter landscape. Ina Otzko's work belongs to the video genre that breaks up the linear, narrative progression in order to explore the concept of time through frozen, still images. The garden that belongs to the character of the mother is an unwelcoming place, and the feeling of alienation hints at a psycho-analytical drama that has clear parallels to Julia Kristeva's theory of abjection which involves the rejection of the mother figure, which she proposes is a necessary phase of the strategy of liberation. The first differentiation of ourselves in relation to the world is normally regarded as a departure from the womans body. This departure can be full of pain and suffering and the first experience of separation can give feelings of disintegration and death. The means of the woman's body, which we later come to know as "female", in some ways reminds us of this undifferentiated connection. According to Kristeva, our identity is based upon establishing a limit, and displacing this boundless and potentially threatening femaleness. The connection to the theme of puberty is to be found in the fact that during this particular period of life, detachment from ones parents is often experienced as a difficult and sometimes traumatic process.

 

Tone Lyngstad Nyaas, text from the exhibition catalogue Puberty, Haugar Art Museum, Norway 2008.

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