Breastcups in France, 2011

In 2011 Mothersuckers Project took ‘Breastcups’ to the Dordogne region of France, with the assistance of the Wales Arts International Opportunities Fund and ARTicle 19 association, where we staged the piece in two very different environments; a contemporary gallery: Metre Cube and a café within a public square: Cafe des Halles, Bourdeilles.

The piece evolved in these new settings and this time my daughter was no longer a baby but a toddler, still a very willing participant wanting to connect to me through breastfeeding. Inclusion of my child added a level of the unexpected and moment to moment creation/adaptation.

The audience watched in real time, experienced visually the tension of waiting for the milk to flow. Tea was served, and the audience asked whether they would like to take it “ with or without milk”. It was interesting to find that French audiences were more adventurous than the British and would accept the offer to try tea with breastmilk, oui! We were made aware yet again through audiences enthusiastic and interested responses to the work, of a debate that is universally relevant, despite cultural differences, and to male as well as female artists and audiences alike. 

We also staged the installation for the camera in various outdoor settings: during one of these private performances, the boob blancmange was ceremonially carried into the river Dronne and thrown in.

We achieved extensive press coverage and had meetings with the Regional Arts Council of the Dordogne, who promised their support for us co- organising a joint exhibition at a venue in the region. The enthusiastic response by the Director of the Perigordian Museum, Veronique Merlin-Anglade, led to a dialogue about a collaborative curatorial project, bringing artists from the UK to present work alongside French artists: the starting point for the CorpsFertileBody project and exhibition in 2013.

photo credit: Josh Leeson and Zoë Gingell.