Martian Mother by Elizabeth McGrady

$375.00
Martian Mother is an ongoing photographic installation, performance, and book that will be sent to pioneers of space exploration that proposes a mission, sending myself to the planet Mars with in vitro fertilization equipment. Traveling with that equipment, I would be impregnated thus giving birth to the first Martian baby and becoming the first Martian mother. Should another like-minded individual volunteer for this one-way trip to another planet, they will be incorporated into the center of this existing framework.

My work is firmly rooted in speculative fiction as I incorporate scientific theory, mythology, and the female experience. I am examining queerness and the intersection between the body and the universe through the lens of fertilization and space exploration. The work is ongoing, with this installment focusing on everything up until the moment of birth, theorizing that the moment of birth and the moment of the singularity are inherently tied. I examine myself as Host to discuss the female body in regards to reproduction and land, examining the physical landscape of both Mars and the universe as analogous to the female reproductive system. The work theorizes that the female experience is cyclical, drawing on mythology and core tenants of Celtic Paganism, to explore the inter-dimensional slippage of time as it relates to the physicality of black holes.

Further, this work relies on a different definition of female than the biological. The pagan community has expanded the understanding of the female body to include trans and gender nonconforming individuals. Femaleness does not rely on biology, rather on the female experience, a state of being. When the uterus is discussed, it is not as the organ itself, but the properties inherent to the cyclical female experience. This is a crucial aspect of the discussion of future civilizations and the queering of our understanding of science.

Artist Bio

Elizabeth McGrady (b. 1994) is an artist based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She graduated in May 2020 from Virginia Commonwealth University with an M.F.A. in photography. McGrady received her B.A. from Smith College (2016) in Fine Arts and Mathematics. Her artistic practice is centered around the reach for entities just outside of the human grasp. Blurring the spheres of religion and science, McGrady’s work examines spaces that rest on the delicate line between fiction and nonfiction. She creates large scale photographic prints, books, and immersive installations. In addition to her artistic practice, McGrady is an adjunct professor of photography at both Virginia Commonwealth University and John Tyler Community College.