Tracey Moffatt at Artpace

Tracey Moffatt's "Pineapple-Cannery" from the First Jobs series

“Loving mothers, slapping mothers, suffering mothers, protective mothers – I think I got them all,” Australian artist and filmmaker Tracey Moffatt says about “Mother,” one of seven cinematic montages featured in “Handmade,” a survey of her work from 1999 to 2010. From Woody Allen’s giant Jewish mother in the sky to Al Pacino arguing with his girlfriend’s mother in “Scarface” to Jane Fonda and Katherine Hepburn bonding as mother and daughter in “On Golden Pond,” “Mother” borrows short clips from a wide range of movies and television shows. Orphaned as a child, Moffatt says she grew up knowing two mothers, which made her an expert on the subject.

With a background in TV documentaries and music videos, Moffatt has conceptually edited these memorable mothering moments into a fluid, fast-moving filmic montage that evokes rising and falling emotions in ways similar to a musical composition. And as in much of her work, Moffatt critiques feminine stereotypes with laser-directed wit.

“Love” begins with sweet love scenes set to syrupy music but soon devolves into sour, screaming, romantic break-ups. “Lip,” the earliest montage from 1999, examines race relations through white female bosses mistreating their sassy African-American maids. Hollywood’s limited view of visual artists reflects troubling art historical stereotypes in “Artist,” using Kirk Douglas as Vincent Van Gogh in “Lust for Life” as just one of many examples of artists as eccentric or maybe insane misfits, followed by a smashing sequence of artists and others destroying paintings and sculptures in fits of rage.

Read the rest of the review at Visual Art Source

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