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artist collective


MATERNAL FANTASIES is an interdisciplinary group of international artists and cultural producers based in Berlin. We shape the discourse on motherhood and the politics of care through collective artistic processes while enhancing the visibility of contemporary intersectional-eco-feminist positions. From writing autobiographical responses to classic feminist texts to devising performances using children’s games, our multi-media art practice favors inclusive community-oriented experiments as alternatives to traditional hierarchies of art production. Bridging theory and practice, our strategy transforms research on motherhood(s), earth care and care work into frameworks for immersive modes of critique. We integrate rotational authorship and tools of collective care in our mode of our production, opening up the artistic process for intergenerational participation.

Since 2018 we have been developing artistic practices that intricately engage with the complex landscape of the care crisis. Viewing motherhood as a dynamic process rather than a fixed physical identity, the collective weaves together individual experiences while simultaneously juxtaposing divergent and intergenerational positions to create a rich polyvocality.


ABC_Ein Spiel ohne Scherz

MATERNAL FANTASIES integrates children into their artistic endeavors, focusing on inclusive, community-oriented experiments as alternatives to conventional art production structures. In their latest project, ABC_ein Spiel ohne Scherz, the collective creates an abecedary on maternal care through short videos and a live performance. The overarching goal is to tap into intergenerational knowledge, fostering a relearning of mutual care beyond the confines of the traditional mother-child relationship, extending to any dynamic that demands an intensive approach.

The Abecedary project, blending feminist discourses with personal narratives from performers and envisioning future narratives from children, offers a playful yet critical response to the undervaluation of care work within capitalism. The intention is to experiment with the development of poetic meanings that challenge existing discourses surrounding the social institution of motherhood and artistic labor.

The live performance, designed for adults yet suitable for children, unfolds through an alphabet-derived structure where letters metamorphose into words, serving as key concepts guiding the scenes. Methodologically, MATERNAL FANTASIES delves deeper into its expertise by employing a rotating authorship approach and creating instructions, seeking external expertise to enrich their work.

The project extends its reach through four short videos, adhering to the same principle as the live performance. These videos, made in response to an instructional score, invite artist-caregivers globally to participate in the alphabet by contributing with their own videos. Leveraging cell phone technology, the videos envision a diverse and multifaceted alphabet that transcends geographical boundaries.


Theatre play





Caring is a common experience for all of us, and it shapes our lives from the moment of birth until death. It can be interpreted on the personal level (self-care) or projected onto relationships between people (maternal or parental care, elderly care), but can also be extended to caring for nonhumans and, in a broader sense, for the Earth itself. The multifaceted concept of care also has strong economic and political dimensions: care crisis, care migration, global care chains and their impact are among the most pressing issues of our time.


The exhibition’s title Handle with Care refers to the vulnerability of those in need of care, the asymmetrical relationship between carer and cared for, the fragility of life and our ecosystem, and the cracks and gaps in the social care system, but most of all, it calls attention to the need for collective responsibility. Finally, it can also be applied to the role of the museum itself, which, beyond the careful management of artworks, faces new tasks and challenges that affect society. In a time of multiple crises – social, economic, ecological, health crisis – the exhibition seeks to answer the question of how to interpret the changing notion of care and the role of art (and the museum) in rethinking it. Bearing in mind the original meaning of the word curator (curare: to care, to nurture, to heal), what are the pillars of a ‘caring’ museum? How can an art institution become more sensitive to social issues, more inclusive, more open, more accessible, in short, a more relevant place?


Installation views 


Ludwig Muzeum, Budapest





The exhibition explores the issue of parenthood interpreted as a process fitting economies of social care and generosity.We live in breakthrough times, in a dynamically changing reality system solutions cannot keep up with, continually searching for narratives to “organise” or “hack” the future; in times of a war well-nigh on our doorstep, of climate, epidemic, geopolitical, humanitarian and migration crises. Given the relentless frequency of institutional inefficiency and oppressiveness, the current and future wellbeing of Children is increasingly dependent on their parents’ involvement, openness and creativity. Daily and regular parenting practices, individual and community-based alike, offer an opportunity for creating new patterns, solutions and representations assisting the child in his/her/their development in emotional-and-intellectual, social, physical and ethical terms. An actively thinking, feeling, acting citizen of the world, the subjectively treated Child remains at the core of all practices.

Yet parental self-care and focus on parental wellbeing is an equally essential practice-related component. All works shown analyse the parenthood phenomenon from an individual and social perspective, occasionally mixing and blending the two orders, showcasing their intermingling and mutual dependence. After all, cultural imaginings or archetypes are processed or transcended through our own experiences, feelings, daily lives.Parenthood will be approached in the context of emotions and thinking styles as well as daily practices focused on the here and now as well as on the future, near and distant alike.


Installation views 


Galerie Arsenal, Poland















A performance between mothers and children in a state of lockdown (online screening)Who cares for whom and what are the consequences? The feminist art collective Maternal Fantasies lets viewers peak into their homes, where artistic production exists alongside domestic tasks and childcare. Household items become toys. Kitchens become backdrops. Care work and parenting have historically been marked by gender-based inequalities, yet the current conditions of social distancing have acutely magnified these injustices. Against this backdrop, the performance seeks to understand “mothering” not as
a physical and fixed category or identity, but instead as dedicated time, attention, nurturance, protection and an interrupted state of mind.The performance was developed for Fantastic Futures, the Advancement Award Exhibition at M.1 of the Arthur Boskamp-Stiftung




Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin


For Commonings, MATERNAL FANTASIES shares tools for commoning based on their experience working together as a collective of mother-artists and children since 2018. What does it mean to participate in art residencies, performances, and exhibitions with nearly 20 adults and children? How can artists engage children when creating artworks collaboratively? How does one manage time between care work, artistic professions and the demands and challenges of working collectively?Participants are invited to bring along their children to ponder these questions while engaging in experiments of collective authorship. By sharing rituals that utilize voice, touch, and storytelling, imaginative opportunities for intimate connection can be created across differences in identities and experiences. At a moment when the political rhetoric of care is imbued with new urgency, these practical exercises in unlearning hierarchy act as models for inclusive art making that acknowledges interdependence.




New Alphabet School at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin


Is an experimental short film by MATERNAL FANTASIES and children from Kids University@floatinguniversity.
The film is based on stories and ideas developed in a workshop led by Mikala Hyldig Daland Aino el Solh


Short Film 


Floating University

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