Eugenia Lim


Crying explores the tension between an 'authentic' and a 'performed' moment of vulnerability and the complex emotions associated with being both artist and new mother. The artist has approximately one hour to capture this work in her backyard, before her baby wakes and demands her full attention and care. The challenge she sets herself is to cry on camera. In dialogue with Bas Jan Ader's I'm too sad to tell you (1970), in which Ader sobs for an unknown reason (in the tradition of the "melancholy white male artist", as Jennifer Doyle writes in her book  'Hold it Against Me: Difficulty and Emotion in Contemporary Art'), Crying captures a performed and staged sadness, a feminist reworking of Ader's intimate yet self-indulgent action. Ader has become a mythical figure after he was lost at sea in 1975, three weeks after setting off alone in a small sailing boat, attempting to cross the Atlantic Ocean. In motherhood, Lim feels almost daily to be 'lost at sea', charged with the responsibility of a new life and love so strong as to be almost unbearable.


motherhood; emotion; authenticity; identity performance

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