Christen Clifford is a true American avant-gardist, a woman of candour and wit. Hailing from the grey working-class city of Buffalo in upstate New York, she arrived in New York City in the late 1980s in order to study acting at NYU. She had both beauty and brains, was fearless, and ready to think. As an actress she ventured and broke boundaries, choosing work revolving around feminism, politics and sexuality. The honesty of Christen Clifford’s sharply honed prose has proven amazing, and in Baby Love she writes with loving boldness. With her intelligence welded to a rock-n-roll attitude, she moves seamlessly between the realms of theatre, literature and performance art.
Evolving from an essay published on Nerve.com, the subject of this new performance piece is ‘maternal sexuality’, as identified by Christen Clifford herself. In this essay, her frank discussion of sensual/sexual love for one’s infant - even while passion between adult partners hovers on the brink of extinction - has aroused a heated response. Some people, of course, trash the writer for daring to speak of such a personal and universal truth; others are naturally thrilled at finally reading their own forbidden thoughts in print. So Christen Clifford promises to take you on a journey through the as yet unexplored psyche of sexual motherhood. She will shock, and also - if you are honest enough - confirm your own deeply held suspicions. We are all sexual creatures, mothers and babies, as well as fathers too of course. When forthright discourse about such feelings of desire is suppressed - as often happens in ideological communities - then actual, damaging, sexual abuse all too often takes its place. In contrast, Clifford’s world of maternal sexuality becomes life affirming and liberating, as all avant-garde visions must ultimately be. She frees us to experience the fullness of desire, both bodily and emotional. Only in the realm of such fearless freedom does true security reside. Karen Malpede (Women in Theatre)
Baby Love performance was supported by New Georges and The Hourglass Group.
Written and performed by: Christen Clifford; direction: Julie Kramer; choreography: Julie Atlas Muz
Organisation: City of Women
In collaboration with: Cankarjev dom