Ada vs. Abramović, 2018

Exhibition view, Städtische Galerie Villingen Schwenningen 2021

Title:
Ada vs Abramović

Year:
2018

Media:
Slow Motion Video
Full HD
Sound

Duration:
10 min


Baby: Ada Cooke
Abramović: Carmen Donet Garcia

Director of photography:
Tilmann Rödiger

Assistant Camera:
Adam Gawel
Jörg Stegmann

Special Thanks:
Alexander Theis
Seraphine Meya
Clemens Lauer
Max Guderian
Dominik Rinnhofer


The artist Marina Abramović consolidated the statement that women are less successful in art than men because they don‘t want to give up love, children and family. The artist Tracey Emin says about herself that she doesn’t compromise and that she would have been either 100 per cent artist or 100 per cent mother. Two of the most influential female artists of our time thus reproduce the idea that as a woman, you can‘t have it all. While for Gerhard Richter (3 children), Pablo Picasso (4 children) or Lucien Freud (at least 12 children) it was apparently not difficult to be both a father and a successful artist, women in the 21st century are still expected to choose one or the other. 

Hannah Cooke stages herself with her daughter Ada in two settings in which she meticulously quotes famous artworks by Tracy Emin (My Bed, 1998) and Marina Abramović (The Artist is present, 2010). She shows herself to us as an artist AND a mother and challenges us to question stereotypes.

Text by Dr. Nicole Grothe, Museum Ostwall

Tagesspiegel Nov. 2016:
“Did you never wanted to have children?”

Marina Abramović:
“No. Never. I aborted three times because I was convinced that it would be a disaster for my work.
We just have a certain amount of energy in our body that I should have shared. In my opinion, that’s why women are not as successful in the art world as men. There are lots of talented women. Why do the men take over the important positions?
Quite simply: love, family, children – all a woman does not want to sacrifice.”

Interview for Monopol Magazine with Ferial Nadja Karrasch