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Futures of power
Heart of glass
Brazilian non-binary performance artist Jota Mombaça stands on a stage at Little Bay, where 50 years ago Christo and Jeanne-Claude brought art to the coastal cliffs they wrapped in fabric and rope. A La Perouse Aboriginal Land Council elder has just reminded us the coast also brought colonisers, who introduced smallpox, killing the Indigenous people of Sydney.

Mombaça, who uses “they” and “their” pronouns, reads a poem to remind the audience at this launch of the comprehensive list of 98 artists, creatives and collectives for the 22nd Biennale of Sydney in 2020, which will be led by the ideas and work of First Nations artists, that “genocide” of black and other marginalised bodies continues.

More than eight million babies have been born through in vitro fertilisation since Louise Brown, the first baby to be conceived through IVF procedures, was born in England in July 1978. In Melbourne, the late gynaecologist Carl Wood and his colleagues were not far behind, with Australia’s first IVF baby, Candice Reed, born almost two years later. Over time, proscriptive access laws have gradually been relaxed to allow single women and lesbian couples to have access to IVF, and expectations of conceiving a family have grown exponentially.

But does our culture overprize parenting, and motherhood in particular? It’s a fair question explored engagingly by three women – an actor, a writer and a director – who come together to interrogate the human drive to biologically replicate, with the help of scientists whose noble intentions are enmeshed with capitalism.

Fifty essays and dispatches on
what it means to be gay today.

On sale at Amazon and iTunes.

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