Mutating Mary
Dafna Maimon

21 Sep–17 Nov 2019
Exhibition

Dafna Maimon (b. 1982 in Porvoo, Finland) produces performances, videos, installations and situations that play with incorporated social norms and cultural codes, deconstructing them through grotesque exaggeration. In her solo exhibition, Mutating Mary, Maimon sets up an absurd scenario that weaves together the historical figure of Mary Mallon (1869–1938), aka “Typhoid Mary,” reproductive ideologies and the idea of “viral” infection in an immersive installation. The show is a continuation of a performance, titled Wary Mary, that was staged in the Tieranatomisches Theater in Berlin in August 2019. For the installation, the artist regurgitates elements of the performance into the space: Infectious body parts invade the gallery while drawings, costumes, texts and sound provide testimonies of the development of events passed. The rough drawings, displayed like primitive cave-paintings, capture, ruminate on, and archive the movements the protagonists exercised and embodied in the performance. They will be reactivated during the finissage. In Mutating Mary Maimon creates an emotional landscape and space for critical examination in which humor – like in Greek drama – is applied as a means for catharsis.