Female Gazing: Interview with Ana Álvarez-Errecalde

Today from our friends at Guernica, we present an interview with Argentinian artist Ana Álvarez-Errecalde. Author Bryony Angell talks with the artist about challenging the conventional portrayal of motherhood, her early career as a documentary filmmaker, and primal super identities. This article was originally published on February 1, 2016.

Ana Álvarez-Errecalde. The Four Seasons Series: Symbiosis, 2013-2014. © Ana Álvarez-Errecalde.

Ana Álvarez-Errecalde. The Four Seasons Series: Symbiosis, 2013-2014. © Ana Álvarez-Errecalde.

Through the eyes of women artists, motherhood is increasingly a subject of contemporary art. For the Argentine-born artist Ana Álvarez-Errecalde, motherhood was the very impetus for becoming a contemporary artist. Álvarez-Errecalde’s searing photographs depict experiences like home birth, breastfeeding, care for a special-needs child, and gestational loss. Drawing on the traditional trope of classic portraiture, and often taken outdoors or against a white backdrop, her staged images balance the wild and unknown—the blood and pain of bodily cycles—with the sensitivity and tenderness of human connection. Straightforward, tender, and often messy, her work is a response to popular media depictions of motherhood as immaculate or sexy.

Álvarez-Errecalde’s self-directed images of motherhood present a counter-archetype of the mother: a woman in control and unapologetic about the gore, discomfort, and trauma involved in bringing a new life into the world. In an interview with Flic Magazine, Álvarez-Errecalde said, “I don’t think we have to get rid of one thing for the other. The problem that I see is that we only have this singular story being told and I think we have to be as plural as possible. Most of the popular imagery that we see of women comes from a male, heterosexual, occidental, and patriarchal perspective.”

Read the full article here.