A book of text and image, My Birth interweaves photographs of the artist Carmen Winant’s mother giving birth to her three children with found images of other, anonymous, women undergoing the same bodily experience. As the pictorial narrative progresses, from labor through delivery, the women’s postures increasingly blend into one another, creating a collective body that strains and releases in unison.
In addition to the photographic sequence, My Birth—a facsimile of Winant’s own journal—includes an original text by the artist exploring the shared, yet solitary, ownership of the experience of birth. My Birth asks: What if birth, long shrouded and parodied by popular culture, was made visible? What if a comfortable and dynamic language existed to describe it? What if, in picturing the process so many times over and insisting on its very subjectivity, we understood childbirth, and its representation, to be a political act?
My Birth, coincides with Winant’s on-site installation at the Museum of Modern Art’s Being: New Photography 2018. The complimentary projects were conceived of together, directly following the birth of the artist’s first child and while she was pregnant with her second.