6 Artists

6 Artists

on Their Parents

When Bill Viola’s mother died it gave him an artistic breakthrough, David Shrigley’s parents wondered why people would pay for his art, Jonathan Meese’s mother works as her son's assistant, and Yayoi Kusama escaped her parents to become an artist.

American photographer Leigh Ledare (b. 1976) tells the story of his mother, who was a ballerina with the New York City Ballet but turned to striptease in her early 50s. Ledare uses photography and film to map social relationships and began photographing his mother as a means to “continue the relationship with her in a non-judgmental way where I could try to understand how she was using herself as a sexualised persona”.

Much less controversial but equally moving is American video artist Bill Viola’s (b. 1951) memory of his mother on her death bed. Viola witnessed his mother’s passing and recounts the moving experience in this video. Clearly touched, he remembers: “It was profoundly beautiful, profoundly sad and mysterious beyond belief.”

Icelandic performance artist Ragnar Kjartansson (b. 1976) was, in his words, raised by militant feminists and pays homage to the feminist legacy in his ongoing work “Me and My Mother.” German artist Jonathan Meese (b. 1970) also introduces you to his mom in this video and Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929) explains why she had to escape her family to become an artist. In the end, says British artist David Shrigley (b. 1968), it boils down to one thing: “One always wants one’s parents to register one’s success.”

Watch the whole interview “Yayoi Kusama: Let’s Fight Together” here:

Watch the whole interview “Jonathan Meese & his Mother: Mommy and Me are Animals” here:

Watch the whole interview “David Shrigley: Everything that is Bad about Art” here:

Watch the whole interview “Bill Viola: Cameras are Soul Keepers” here:

Watch the whole interview “Leigh Ledare: Photos of Inappropriate Desires” here:

Watch the whole interview “Ragnar Kjartansson: On ’Me and my Mother’ here:

Produced and edited by Roxanne Bagheshirin Lærkesen
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2016
Supported by Nordea-fonden

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