MFA Bullivant Jessie

90000 €

Institutional Companion: Ways to be with…

Taiteellinen työ / siihen pohjautuva työ | Kolmivuotinen

Institutional Companion is a long-term artistic research project that brings together different aspects of my practice, from institutional critique to site-specific practice, and writing. Over the past 3 years, care and reproduction have been recurring topics in my artistic practice; starting from a project that involved being legally assigned as a godparent in 2018, to an upcoming work with midwives delivering an artwork on an Australian radio station in 2022. Institutional Companion will use the practice of "a doula" as a methodology and approach to "being with" both individuals and institutions, and navigating relationships between the two. A doula is a professional role that holds space and provides support to individuals during different transitions, most traditionally birth, but also death, abortion, HIV, and other health-related experiences. A doula is not a medical professional, but rather, a third party: an advocate, and a mediator between the body of the individual and the medical institution. As part of this artistic research, I will undertake formal training to become a doula and use this first-hand experience to inform my artistic practice. I will begin by participating in Labour & Birth Doula training with Cornerstone (USA), and attend Birth and Death Doula retreats with Sacred Space (FI). The spectrum of this training will allow me to immerse myself in the ecology of the international doula field. Importantly, the research will also depart from the specific field of birthwork, and explore broader institutions of gender, capitalism and ableism. I will draw on the intersecting histories of institutional critique, affect theory, queer feminism and crip discourse to examine the various ways that institutional systems and practices are embodied. I will work towards presenting the artistic outcomes of this research period in the third year of the project, in a range of formats, from text and score, to performative events and installations.