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Guardian of Sterile Waters

By Miriam Schaer
Brooklyn, New York: Miriam Schaer, [1997]. One-of-a-Kind.

12 x 20 x 6" sculptural bookwork. Materials: ladies' girdle, acrylic, ink, silk, sterile-water ampules, plastic toy laser print, ribbon.

Miriam Schaer: "Guardian of Sterile Water is the third and last of the three books I made to explore my infertility and issues around motherhood. Guardian was created after the treatments failed, using as art materials some of the leftover fertility drugs — specifically the ampules of sterilized water that was to be used in mixing Clomid and Perganol — infertility drugs that were commonly used in the late 90s.

"Inside the bustier, there is a heart-shaped inset box, or cartouche, which holds a heart shaped book. The book's pages are collages of actual medical records complimented by images of infants.

"The bottom of the heart is lined with broken bottles from the ampules of the sterilized water. All three deal with the urge to have a child – that is, to become a mother – and the coming to terms with its unlikelihood in my own life.

"My work in this vein is chiefly a way of asking questions that explore feminine, feminist, and social issues that I sometimes think have no answers. So I try to make sense of things by making art."

Guardian of Sterile Waters

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