From the Collections: ‘Mother’ by Tracey Moffatt
Mother by Tracey Moffatt is in the M+ Collections, but what is it, who made it, and why did M+ acquire it? Catherine Lau, Assistant Curator, Moving Image, M+, explains:
What is this?
Mother (2009) is a video by Australian contemporary artist Tracey Moffatt. It forms part of the Montage video series created by Moffatt and her long-time collaborator Gary Hillberg. Created between 1999 and 2015, the series consists of a suite of eight short videos that draw upon a range of stereotypes from Hollywood films. Together they interrogate and re-frame the nature of representation in popular culture.
Mother compiles clips of mother figures from classic Hollywood cinema and television dramas. The figures range from the Virgin Mary and Mother Courage, to characters from Maude (1972–78), Aliens (1986), Imitation of Life (1959), and American Gangster (2007). The characters play out scenes of care, loss, emotional manipulation, abandonment, and grief. The intense relationships between mothers and daughters are especially prominent.