My Barbarian performs ‘The Mother’ at Gallery 400

My Barbarian "The Mother"

My Barbarian performs an adaptation of Brecht’s “The Mother.”

My Barbarian, a three-person art collective based in Los Angeles, will perform an adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s 1932 play “The Mother” twice this weekend at Gallery 400 — 7 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday.

The two-hour performances will use hand-made masks and drawings to tell the story of a working-class mother who becomes radicalized on the eve of the Bolshevik Revolution. Through her actions as mother, worker and revolutionary, the play promotes the potentially critical role of artists in a revolution.

The performances are part of the gallery’s exhibition “Universal Declaration of Infantile Anxiety Situations Reflected in the Creative Impulse.” The title borrows from the post-World War II “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” co-authored by Eleanor Roosevelt, and Melanie Klein’s 1929 essay “Infantile Anxiety Situations Reflected in a Work of Art and the Creative Impulse,” which investigated the way children relate to their mothers.

Artists and performers Malik Gaines, Jade Gordon and Alexandro Segade have worked as My Barbarian since 2000, producing video, music, performance art, drawing and sculpture.

Their Gallery 400 exhibition includes a series of short films in which the artists perform with their own mothers as well as artists Eleanor Antin and Mary Kelly, enacting their personal and artistic matriarchal lineage.

My Barbarian’s exhibition will be on view through Oct. 18. Admission to the gallery and performances are free.

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