Carmen Winant


Carmen Winant is an American Contemporary artist. Her work was featured in numerous exhibitions  including the MoMA, The Museum of Modern Art and the Kunsthal Charlottenborg, she is also a mother to her two sons Rafa and Carlo.

Morning routine:

I have two small children (Rafa who is 2 and Carlo who is 4) and so it is less "morning routine" and more "morning chaos." The boys wake up between 6-7am and my partner Luke and I work to wrangle food into them and clothes onto them before dropping them off at daycare -- now in their masks -- in a narrow time window. I usually drive back listening to the news and make coffee in the kitchen once home. I walk the dog.  If I am feeling ambitious I will head to the studio before my teaching job overtakes me.

How you stay productive:

I think I stay too productive, to be honest. My default state is working. I have always been this way, but having children has only augmented my tendencies. I don't think this is what you are looking for but I really think I need to be less productive. Or, I think I need to reorient my sense of what is qualified as "productive" in the first place. As in, if I am not "making something" is that still productive? Is rest productive? Mothering? I am perpetually working to re-imagine how I think about this idea.

Self care tips:
Self care is not my strong suit; I'd imagine that most working moms of small kids have much the same issue. My partner and I joke that just getting to go pee alone in our house -- without a small child hanging off of you -- is self care. When there is time, I run in the park behind our house, which is sprawling (I used to be a long distance competitive runner, learning how to do this for pleasure took time). Mostly I take long baths. like, really long baths.

Your most recent work:
My most recent work is this project, which just went up at a group show in Kunsthal Charlottenborg, put together by Jeppe Ugelvig and Alison Karasyk, two brilliant young curators. The exhibition focuses on the figure of the witch and the witchcraft trials across the nordic region from the 16-18th century. My contribution was a series of found, double sided images that were illuminated on lightboxes. Most succinctly put, it is a work that explores women's sexuality as a source of power and agency as well as (and for this same reason) a threat to the state and the violent heteo-patriachal dominion.


Your  creative process :
I am a studio artist. I just need to be in there - that is sort of the beginning and end of the process. When you have small kids, and a day job with needs, and lots of emails to tend to and so on, it can be hard to carve out the dedicated time. My partner is also an artist and both of our studios are at home, which is a tremendous help. We made this switch when our first son was born, so we could work while he was napping. I am not really an artist who foreplans-- the alchemy tends to happen when I bring my body in contact with the material...cutting, re-arranging, holding images up to the light, and so on. If anything, my creative practice is driven by time, accident, responsiveness. In this way it is embodied.

Advice to the younger generation :
I hesitate to give blanket advice, or to propose that I have the answers. I suppose I would say: be brave in the work that you do.

Send a picture of your workplace:

People that inspire you:

Political and social organizers who raise consciousness and advocate for the most vulnerable among us. radical feminist scholars and poets. Artists who make work as though they have never seen art before.

Movie :

I tend to have a relatively short attention span for media and don't want a lot of movies (television-length episodes are more of a sweet spot). I have been watching some Agnes Varda and Chantal Akerman films lately -- sort of for research and sort of for pleasure -- that have been moving for me. I thought the new Borat movie was sort of brilliant. I don't really have standards of 'taste' when it comes to this sort of thing (or any sort of thing).

Chantal Akerman

Agnes Varda

Ive been listening to a lot of Lucinda Williams lately. It never gets old, that tender, gritty voice.


Favorite books of all time or of the moment? In the first category, A Fire Next Time (James Baldwin), Of Woman Born (Adrienne Rich), The Savage Detectives (Roberto Bolano). But those are everyone's favorites, I suspect. I just finished two books that have been bedside for a while: Motherhood by Sheila Heti and My Meteorite by Harry Dodge. I used to read a lot more before I had kids, especially fiction.  Generally speaking, reading fuels my practice more than anything else. certainly more than looking at other art.

I listen to podcast after podcast in the studio-- I like the feeling of voices in there with me, keeping me company across long hours. My favorite is my friend Neil Goldberg's podcast, She's a Talker, in which he interviews creative people (a lot of performers, some artists, some academics, with a lot of queer voices) about their lives and practices. I also listen to various politically minded podcasts- Jacobin radio, Cornell West's podcast, etc. My friend Jordan Weitzman has a great podcast in which he interviews photographers called The Magic Hour.

Clothing brand:

I buy my clothes second hand- jazzier, cheaper, more sustainable, folks.

Jewellery :

I don't wear jewelry, I have never liked the feel of it on my body. I like how it looks on other people though. I have always wanted to be someone who wears giant chunky rings and elegant necklaces and dangly earrings but it just isn't my lot in life.

Thank you for reading! love u

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