SORRY I GAVE BIRTH I DISAPPEARED BUT NOW I’M BACK
For a very long time motherhood was considered somewhat taboo in the art world. As long as I can remember, female role models I admired openly talked about their choice of career over family. Some might have had children but never talked about their insecurities or sacrifices. Artist and talent awards age limits usually are 35 or younger. But as soon as a woman turns 30 she is often viewed as old and her biological clock ‘is ticking’. The years to make the choice between having children or being successful are short and coincide with the years when one or the other might happen but none are guaranteed.
When I realised I was pregnant, I had no idea what awaited me. How messy and how raw, how unpredictable and how out of control motherhood really was compared to the images I had in my mind from films, photos, paintings done by men. Then I was an emerging artist, traveling around and going to art fairs and exhibition openings. Now I am a mother of two working on borrowed time hoping the years I’ve lost mothering can be written into my CV without guilt or shame.
This work in progress, which will always be a work in progress, is about becoming, understanding, and remembering. Trying not to forget all those things that once seemed so important, and the minute you think you know it another challenge appears. How can something so universal as motherhood be so lonely? How come we all have to experience it and there are no answers to all those struggles? What about our bodies, our hormones, our thoughts, our friends, our loves? Our careers, our homes, our dishes, our laundry, our sexual desires? What happened to our freedom, our showers, our sleeping hours?
I love being a mother. I also loved being an artist.
Andi Galdi Vinko
Andi Galdi Vinko, is an internationally acclaimed artist working in photography. She studied photography at Moholy Nagy University of Art in Budapest and at Esag Penninghen in Paris and art history and aesthetics at ELTE in Budapest.
Her work draws visual analogies between intensely personal and intimate experiences of motherhood and womanhood and universal human experiences of coming of age, ageing, loss, and the conflict between western and eastern European ideologies. Using both staged and documentary photography, Andi is a vivid visual storyteller who assembles her snapshots into unconventional and unexpected narratives, juxtapositions that are playful and humorous but also elicit pathos and absurdity, often published in the form of zines or editorials.
Elisabeth Biondi, a former director of photography at The New Yorker, wrote of Andi Galdi Vinko’s series Paradisco, “It captures the underlying quest in her photographic pursuits – to record the general unease experienced by people of her generation as well as their pleasures and joys.”
Andi GV has been commissioned by M Le Monde, Die Zeit, i-D, Dazed, Vice, The New Yorker, Tate etc, among others. Her personal work has been exhibited internationally in group and solo shows. Recent exhibitions include: Birth at TJ Boulting, London; Sorry I Gave Birth I Disappeared But Now I’m Back at FERi Gallery, Budapest; Golden Boundaries, Robert Capa Center, Budapest and Arles Milllenial au feminin at Galerie du Club des DA, Havas Gallery. – text by Charlotte Jansen