the camera body – OBSTETRIC DEPARTMENT/ labour/ pregnancy

Kamerakroppen og OBSTETRISK AFDELING/ fødsel/ svangre – the camera body and THE DEPARTMENT OF OBSTRETRICS/ labour/ pregnancy af Nanna Lysholt Hansen, bastard Press, 2023

In OBSTETRIC DEPARTMENT/ labour/ pregnancy
Lysholt Hansen works with appropriated text, taken
from the hospital record of the birth of her daughter,
and re-written with an intimate and poetic voice into
a performance text, where the relational and particular
subjects/bodies of the situation are written forth, as
a caring gesture of resistance against the otherwise
generalising, objectifying and alienating medical
language that the institutional voice of the hospital
speaks and makes one the subject of.
Earlier versions of OBSTETRIC DEPARTMENT/
labour/ pregnancy have been performed in The
Matrix, a live performance at Overgaden Institute
for Contemporary Art, Copenhagen (2017), in The
Matrix #2, performance for camera (2018), and in
Zira Mater Matrix, an audio-video sculpture, exhibited
at her solo exhibition “Mother Mould” in Astrid
Noack’s Atelier, Copenhagen (2020).

In the camera body Nanna Lysholt Hansen revisits
the series Dura Mater (2016-2018) that consists of
the archive of photographs from her artistic practice
in performance for camera, which her 2-4-year-old
daughter later appropriates, as she reworks them with
ink, water colours, glitter glue, glowing slime, and
nail polish. In descriptions of the photographs, their
previous recording situations, and the daughter’s
later re-working of them, the text moves through
different spaces and times that spring a leak and seep
into each other, while apparatus, objects and bodies
alternately meet and merge in an investigation of how
work, subjectivity, body, and identity continuously are
constituted, destabilised, and dissolved relationally
and in intersections.

Nanna Lysholt Hansen (b. 1980, DK) is a visual artist, educated at Kingston University, Faculty of Art, Design and Music in London, UK, and The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Visual Arts in Copenhagen, DK. She works with live performance and manifestations of the body through hybrid technological forms, video, sculpture, sound, voice, and photography. She has previously had her performance texts from the Dear Daughter series published by Laboratory for Aesthetics and Ecology and in the journal Periskop – forum for art historical debate. With the camera body and OBSTETRIC DEPARTMENT/ labour/ pregnancy she is being published for the first time with performance texts written in Danish and translated into English.
the camera body and OBSTETRIC DEPARTMENT/ labour/ pregnancy by Nanna Lysholt Hansen is the first publication in bastard Press’ writing series for performance texts. bastard Press was established in 2023 by Mette Garfield and Lise Margrethe Jørgensen from a wish to create a space that offers the opportunity to explore, develop and point to the performance text as its own writing and literary genre.