Mothers of Our Pearls
3' x 2' x 1'
Metal, chicken wire, zip ties, oyster shells.
Mothers of Our Pearls is a sculpture in the New York Harbor that may—or may not—act as an artificial oyster bed. As it sits on the bottom of the harbor’s floor, it is only a structure that offers a place for the oysters to build their home. It functions as an invitation, a gesture towards cooperative living and creating with the nonhuman. It is maternal in its labor, care, and consideration.
Motherhood, here, is an expansion on the idea of maternity as an ethos of accommodation, generosity, invitation, and reciprocity. The mothers of this work are not engaged in “natural” heterosexual reproduction but, rather, they act maternally through their creative and generative practices in ways that are, like the hermaphroditic oyster, more queer. Mothers of Our Pearls links these collective and cooperative motherhoods to suggest a radical recasting of being.
Mothers of Our Pearls calls for a re-production of a different value system independent to and independent from capital value. The oyster is in alliance with those who have been marginalized, considered disposable, and displaced. It finds a home in the wastelands of the post-industrial waterfront of New York City.