was a center for contemporary art in Southeast Portland, Oregon. It was led by a desire to support artists, propose new modes of production, and stimulate the ongoing public discourse around art. This website serves as an archive of Yale Union’s programming from 2011 through 2021.

Yale Union acknowledges that it occupies the traditional lands of the Multnomah, Chinook, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Tualatin Kalapuya, Molalla, and other Indigenous peoples.


October 10–December 20, 2015
Thursday–Sunday, 3–6pm

A group show that considers the mother, with work by Lutz Bacher, Susan Cianciolo, Sonya Hamilton, Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Eliot Porter, Aura Rosenberg, Diane Simpson, Barbara T. Smith, Frances Stark, and Rosemarie Trockel. It will also include new site-specific works by Cathy Wilkes and Anicka Yi, and a performance by Karin Schneider.

This exhibition assents to the mystery and chaos of motherhood. It is made with ambivalence toward coherent ideas of maternity. It is made in reaction to the circumference of saccharine sentimentality and repressive rage that persists in culturally mediated visions of the mother, a circumference that tightens like a noose around the necks of actual women. This show laments the culturally constructed binary of “family vs. career,” while acknowledging the persistence of that obstacle in the lives of artists. I believe there are more irreducible things at stake. This show is all of the places in between, the making-do, the quotidian, the disobedient, the law-abiding, the carnal, the repulsive, the both-and. I made this show with a desire to capture what is true—and not what resembles the truth—in my experience as a mother.

Curated by Hope Svenson with Robert Snowden. Thank you to Moyra Davey, Bridget Donahue, Carol Greene, Anthony Huberman, Nova Ionis, Jacqueline Tarquinio Kennedy, Andrew Kreps, Isla Leaver-Yap, Friederike Schuler, and Jasmin Tsou. Additional thanks to KBOO Community Radio and XRAY FM.

This program would not be possible without Yale Union’s members and volunteers, The Oregon Arts Commission, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Henry Lea Hillman, Jr. Foundation, The James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, The Mondriaan Fund, and The Martin Family.


Lutz Bacher, Pregnant, 2010: #1
Susan Cianciolo, Sunburst Kit / Doll In Part, 2004–2015: #1
Sonya Hamilton, Charlie, 2014: #1
Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven, Theory of Stress, 1993: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9
Lynn Hershman Leeson, Abortion (From the Suicide Series), 1965: #1
Lynn Hershman Leeson, Breathing Machine II (From the Suicide Series), 1965: #1
Lynn Hershman Leeson, Sorri (From the Suicide Series), 1964: #1
Lynn Hershman Leeson, GMO animals, crops, labs (The Infinity Engine), 2014: #1
Paul McCarthy, Painter, 1995: #1
Eliot Porter, Birds of North America: A Personal Selection. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1972: 126–127, 38–39, 134–135
Aura Rosenberg, Dialectical Porn Rock, 1989–2012: #1
Diane Simpson, Bib (quilted), 2006: #1
Barbara T. Smith, Orange, 1965: #1
Barbara T. Smith, Rice and Object, 1965: #1
Barbara T. Smith, Untitled (Green), Skyline, Statistical Evidence,1965-1966: #1
Frances Stark, Structures That Fit My Opening and Other Parts Considered in Relation to Their Whole, 2006
Rosemarie Trockel, Spiral Betty, 2010: #1
Rosemarie Trockel, What it is like to be what you are not, 1993: #1
Cathy Wilkes, Untitled, 2015: #1, #2
Anicka Yi, Signature of Things, 2015: #1, #2, #3, #4