"Surrogates on a Seesaw" 1987 


Installation at Ceres Gallery with a group formed by the Feminist Art Institute. This piece was driven by new technologies, notions of birth and motherhood including surrogacy, and the concept of virgin birth.

Text was written on the back of each carnival type painting: 

Virgin
As a child, I wondered why she stepped on the crescent moon and always wore a celestial shade of blue. I snickered at the notion of Immaculate Conception.” In this “Year of the Virgin Mary”, I have come to understand that she is the Ancient Moon Goddess---Mother of us all, a woman belonging to no man, true to her nature and instincts. She may have many lovers, but like the moon, she can never be possessed. Children born out of wedlock are said to be “virgin born.”

Whose Baby Is It?
In this age of the All Powerful Male,
My father regrets that he can not birth a child.

She conceives even though no love passes between them. Through nine bloodless moons the child grows within her house, under her heart. She is the mother. She uses all the powers and forces available to her in the struggle to keep her child. But on April Fools’ Day 1987, in a New Jersey court she lost her case. She is the virgin…Marybeth Whitehead.

The Goddess sits before this door with her arms and legs crossed, waiting.

© 2016 by Olivia Beens

Email: oliviabeens@gmail.com

Photo Credits:

Sherman Sussman

Regina Cherry

Chris Bolton

Seth Rubin

Peteris Krumins