Mama-Baby-Dada is an investigative performance project created by Denise Uyehara and Natalie Brewster Nguyen with their young children. This three-year project includes a series of investigative play activities, or games. In the Tracing Game the artists follow behind their children with colored markers in a room covered with muslin cloth, tracing the pathways create as they work and play. These tracings create a “map” that documents the movements of the parents and the children and the areas they frequent. There will be several variations of the Tracing Games, including changing the shape of the play areas (e.g., a long corridor, an L-shaped room, semi-circular courtyard). Other activities will include the Mirror Game in which artists and children draw mirror images of each other’s movements on a window that separates them. In the Ball Game, an areal videotape documents the pathway of rolling balls as children play. These images will be re-projected onto the floor as the children continue to play, responding to their own game and its spontaneity. Mama/Baby/Dada explores the territory between home and work, mamahood and artmaking and everything in between. Originally inspired by the Postpartum Document (1973-1979) by visual artist Mary Kelly in which she documented the language of her son, Mama/Baby/Dada explores a woman’s investment in her child’s growth while tracking the merging geographies of work and play.Click here for workshop video

Community Workshops: Community members are also invited to participate in this project with their young children. The sessions will be videotaped and the maps will be saved for the future performance. Discussion with workshop participants – including feedback from young children – follows. The next workshop will take place at MOCA-Tucson on December 20, 2009, as part of the museum’s MOCA NOW series.

The project will culminate in a “living living room performance. ” The children and mothers will interact, eat, play, work, read, nap in the room. Video images will project onto the map tracings and on objects in the room. In addition, the children will have an opportunity to trace where their mothers travel and this will be projected onto the floor, as a type of remapping of space.

Mama/Baby/Dada (2008) | 2008 | Performances and Activities, Projects (selected)