In a recent interview with German newspaper Tagesspiegel, artist Marina Abramovic suggested that having children would have ruined her creativity. “I had three abortions because I was certain that it would be a disaster for my work,” she said. “One only has limited energy in the body, and I would have had to divide it.”
But Hein Koh, a Brooklyn-based artist, has recently responded to Abramovic’s comments by posting a picture of herself working on her Instagram and Facebook pages while simultaneously breastfeeding her twins. “When my twins were 5 weeks old and despite the sleep deprivation and frequent (every 2-3 hours, 24-7, 45 min at a time) breastfeeding, I was still getting shit done,” wrote Hein. “Marina Abramovic thinks children hold women back in the art world, but as @dubz19 put so aptly, “FUKKK THAT”.” Read on for the full message.
“Somehow as a man you are allowed to have kids and still be perceived as driven in your career,” said Hein. “While if you are a woman who has a child, people think of it as a huge sacrifice,” she observes. “The new family models are changing — mothers don’t necessarily have to be the primary caretakers anymore. With a more even distribution of responsibilities, and a support system — support is key, and I recognize it is a privilege — women can still have children and be successful in their careers.”
“I’ve pieced together a schedule that allows me to spend time with the kids for at least a few hours every day, but also have at least a few hours to myself to work in my studio or do other things that I need to do,” she notes. “Childcare is a privilege, and unfortunately many moms and artists don’t have that. That being said, I understand how fortunate I am and I don’t waste time.”
“We all have to do what we think is best for ourselves and our families,” she continues. “I’m just trying to live my life, and I know I have limitations but I’m doing the best I can. People should just leave moms alone, and mind their own business. Especially other moms, who are always the first to judge. Regardless of our individual choices, women should support other women, and lead by example rather than attack. That’s the kind of culture I want to promote.”