Difficult Women and Transgressive Daughters
Local Arts Reviews
Reviewed by Heather Barfield Cole, Fri., Oct. 24, 2003
Difficult Women and Transgressive DaughtersBlanton Museum of Art, Oct. 11
Suze Kemper and Rachel Martin are Hard Women, even though their company by that name is now defunct. Their one-night-only reunion performance, Difficult Women and Transgressive Daughters, vibrated feminist polemics regarding mother-child scenarios. Kemper and her daughter wore one-sided wooden dresses and danced together while a conversation about small things like, say, the definition of destiny was amplified. The girl was looking up at her mother with silly love, and mother was encouraging her daughter with unyielding devotion. Their bond is a stereotype and a truth. Still, mom and daughter relations are not without stubbornness or personality quirks, as shown with arguments here and there. The trip continued: Martin and Kemper revisited a piece, the first time they have ever repeated a performance. While riding the Blue Line train, roles women play in life also become places. The journey begins at Saint, pushing forward into the universal terminal, Virgin. The passengers despised and depended on one another for laughs and competition. The ladies fought, then quickly made amends. In "Recto/Verso," a "checking-in" phone conversation between a young woman and her mother questioned the matrix of feelings and hurts often left unspeakable between relatives. The female artist is complicated, and what happens when she invites motherhood into her life? She can inspire other artists or teach or relax into herself or an array of other choices. One request though: Always credit your mentors, like Linda Montano, who live life as art, passing down precious details about their experiences, to those on the cusp of discovery.