Re-Assembling Motherhood(s) invites the reader to learn about and from MATERNAL FANTASIES ́ feminist research and collective artistic practice on motherhood(s), care work and representation in the arts.

Composed of seven interdisciplinary artists / mothers and ten children, MATERNAL FANTASIES takes the social invisibility of the maternal experience as a point of departure to produce films, images, and performances of fantastical visibility. Through personal writing exercises and collective performance scores, they align themselves with ancestral figures of feminist discourses and artmaking, in order to establish new vocabularies and narratives around the maternal for future generations. As both a handbook and an archive of feminist artmaking, this publication (re-)assembles maternal experiences, reflective essays, autobiographical writing, instructional scores, selected artworks, and a manifesto for a caring economy.

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Editor Magdalena Kallenberger, Maicyra Teles Leão e Silva, Sascia Bailer.

Text editor Lena Chen

Graphic dalek

Language English

Type Softcover

Dimensions 165 X 240 portrait

Pages 180

ISBN 978-94-93148-57-4

Essays and Articles

Magdalena Kallenberger, “Instruments of Care. Maternal Fantasies: Collective Art Production as a tool of Radical Self-Care” in An Artist and a Mother, eds. Tara Carpenter Estrada, Heidi Moller Somsen, and Kaylan Buteyn, Bradford, Ontario: demeter press, 2023.

Magdalena Kallenberger, “Suspended Time – Rotational filmmaking by MATERNAL FANTASIES collective”, in Radical Film at the Dawn of a Society, eds. Ursula Böckler, Julia Lazarus, Daniel Mutibwa and Alexandra Weltz-Rombach. Berlin: K-Verlag, 2023.

Magdalena Kallenberger, “Instruments of Care. Maternal Fantasies: Collective Art Production as a tool of Radical Self-Care” in An Artist and a Mother, eds. Tara Carpenter Estrada, Heidi Moller Somsen, and Kaylan Buteyn, demeter press, 2023.

An Artist and a Mother is a book of visual artworks and essays that speak to the diverse ways artists balance creative life with the demands of mothering. It includes thirty seven essays describing the work of thirty-nine international artists and an art collective, as well as a resource guide with books, journals, magazines, organizations, and other resources. This book seeks to highlight the growing body of artist mothers who are making visually and conceptually interesting artwork not just despite their status as mothers, but often because of the inspiration and challenges that come with motherhood.

“The poignant stories of artists and their experiences as mothers are varied and vivid. These short essays reveal a dimension of the feminine, maternal experience that is often invisible. Very powerful and touching accounts of the challenges of combining motherhood and personal artistry.”

reviewer for Demeter press

The autonomy of the artist as (m)other – an associative journey of meandering thoughts

… looking at the depiction of Bas Jan Aders project “In Search of the Miraculous” produced between 1973 and 1975. I will be reading and re-reading his work in the context of my individual and personal experience, which is shaped through observations and interaction with the world and the social reality I faced living and working in Cairo, Egypt between 2010 and 2017. /// 2020

"Fake Gleichberechtigung" was published in print issue 11, Arts of the Working Class.

Magdalena Kallenberger, “The Terrible Two” in Supervision: On Motherhood and Surveillance, ed. Sophie Hamacher, MIT Press, 2023.

– extracts of nightly monologues

… by a temporary single-mother. Her son was born in 2014 in Cairo. The father left in the summer of 2016. During the following years, the mother used a messenger app to send news and updates to the father, who rarely responded in a timely manner due to the time difference and his tight work schedule. The communication tool became a self-monitoring device to document and record the daily activities and sleeping routine of the two-year-old and consequently the effects on the emotional state of the mother. As Franz Kafka wrote on November 7th, 1921, “The inescapable duty to observe oneself: if someone else is observing me, naturally I have to observe myself too; if no one observes me, I have to observe myself all the closer.”[1]/// 2018.

[1] Bond, M. (ed.) The Diaries of Franz Kafka, 1914–23, Secker and Warburg, London, 1948


Publications and Media Reviews


 // “Ancestor Assembly” in Literaturbote Nr. 141, 37. Jahrgang, Frankfurt, April 2022. 

// “MATERNAL FANTASIES” in A Women‘s Work, ed. David Drake, Cardiff: Ffotogallery, January, 2021.

// „FAKE Gleichberechtigung – Plädoyer der Fürsorgearbeit als Quelle für eine Zukunft basiert auf Nächstenliebe “ was published in print issue 11, “Faux Culture“, Arts of the Working Class 05/2020.

// maternal journal #2, The Artist Mother Studio (Washington DC), in partnership with Project for Empty Space, publiziert 09/2019.

//»We are Studio« by Constanze Fischbeck in »Avanti Dilettanti!«, publication, Kunstbüro der Kunststiftung Baden-Württemberg, 2020.


// „Un/Sichtbare Verbindungen // in/visible connections“, Photo Workshop, Sparkassen Stiftung, Köln with Maternal Fantasies. (postponed to 10/2020) 

// „Collective Writing Workshop“, alpha nova galerie futura, Berlin, 11/2018. Reviews 


// Interview (in German): Radio Salon für Alltägliches

as well as on the international online platforms artist parents index, procreate project archive, m/other voices,

lectures and presentations

// „A Women‘s Work“, Symposium, 8 – 12 September 2020, Nida, Lithuania.

// „ fair share! Sichtbarkeit für Künstlerinnen“, demonstration speech & performative action, Womens Day 03/2020, Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin.

// „Maternal Fantasies – Collective artistic strategies of in_visibility towards political agency“, conference „Renegotiating Minoritarian In_Visibilities“, GCSC Justus-Liebig University Gießen 11/19.

// „Maternal Fantasies – collective art production as a tool of fertile resistance“, conference „Resistance is Fertile“, Goldsmiths University of London. 09/2019.

// „Radical Film Network Meeting“, presentation, Silent Green Kulturquartier, Berlin, May 2019.

// „Kunst und Kind Berlin“, presentation, Networking Meeting, 2019.

// Essay „Instruments of Care“, in “An Artist and a Mother” publication by demeter press, upcoming 2022.

// Essay in ‚Unsettling Feminist Curating‘ edited by Elke Krasny, Lara Perry, Helena Reckitt, Dorothee Richter, upcoming 2022

2021 // Article, „The Terrible Two“, in Sophie Hamacher (Hg.) „(Super)vision: Motherhood and Surveillance“ Orbis Editions / Andy Warhol Foundation 2021.

2016 // „The Poster is Dead! Long live the Poster“, Article in „100 Best Arabic Poster“ Katalog 2016.

2016 // Article, „Cinemagraphs of Ard al-Lewa“ in Panorama Mada Masr, 04/2016

with Cairo Bats

2018 // Review, Süddeutsche Zeitung, ‚Afrika denkt sich selbst‘ by Jonathan Fischer, 12.03.2018.

2018 // Review, DIPTYK Magazin, ‚Afrique Express‘ by Jeanne Mercier, issue 43, Dakar, Morocco and France.

2017 // Review, Photography and New Media from the Arab World, Issue 05, Dubai, U.A.E. Review, Aperture, Issue 224, ‘Dispatches: Cairo’, by Ismail Fayed, NY, USA.

2016 // Review, Al Ahram, ‘The Cairo Bats’, by Soha Elsirgany, Cairo, Egypt.

2016 // Feature, Girls Like Us Magazine, issue #8 – Family, ‘Cairo Bats‘, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

2016 // Review, Al Watan, ’The Cairo Bats’, arabic, Cairo, Egypt.

2016 // Article, „Cinemagraphs of Ard al-Lewa“ in Panorama Mada Masr, 04/2016

The Urban Cultures of Global Prayers

2013 // Article, „Raumtausch Case Study Berlin“ in „Global Prayers. Contemporary Manifestations of the Religious in the City.“ Jochen Becker, Katrin Klingan, Stephan Lanz, Kathrin Wildner (Eds.): Lars Mueller Publishers, Zurich. 2013.

2012 // Article, „Raumtausch / Berlin“ in metroZones (Ed.): Faith is the Place. b_books, Berlin. Page 18-37. 2011 Review, zu Video „Curfew“ in Badische Zeitung “Ein ironischer Reflex” von Hartmut Buchholz. 07/2011

2012 // „The Urban Cultures of Global Prayers“ and „Raumtausch – Case Study Berlin“, was widely featured by various media: Arte-Metropolis, DIE ZEIT/Christ&Welt, CAMERA AUSTRIA, Die Wochenzeitung, Süddeutsche Zeitung CAMERA AUSTRIA, DRadio Wissen, Deutschlandfunk, WDR Funkhaus Europa, Flux FM.