mexico-city

Mónica Mayer, Lo normal (On Normality) (detail), 1978, offset and stamp-pad ink on paper, 25 1/2 × 28".

Mónica Mayer

Museo Universitario Arte Contemporaneo (MUAC)

Mónica Mayer, Lo normal (On Normality) (detail), 1978, offset and stamp-pad ink on paper, 25 1/2 × 28".

“And all of this is a . . . work of art?” talk-show host Guillermo Ochoa asks artists Maris Bustamante and Mónica Mayer, the two members of Polvo de Gallina Negra (Black Hen’s Powder), on an episode of Nuestro Mundo (Our World) that originally aired August 28, 1987, on Mexican television. Madre por un día (Mother for a Day), the artists’ intervention on the program, involved the temporary transformation of Ochoa into an expectant mother: The artists adorn him with a “pregnant” apron and a crown in honor of the “queen of her house—until the baby is born.” Initially he plays along, claiming to have food cravings and yelling, “It moved!” in a high-pitched voice. Toward the end of the segment, however, he seems to grow uneasy, particularly after Mayer brings out a doll to which one can direct previously unexpressed sentiments toward one’s mother. “I told you [the audience] we

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