The Daughter/Mother Sessions
with introductory essay “Immanent Desire” by Faith Wilding
What might happen if an English professor, a powerful voice in modern poetry and creative nonfiction, conspired with her daughter, a visual artist and young mother, to articulate desire? The dialogue that ensues, in the words of Faith Wilding, “is an opening into fearsome and sublime territories, where home comforts and home truths are scarce; where ancient hierarchies and silences have been broken.”
Anatomy of Desire is a poetic dialogue between visual artist/daughter Lucinda Bliss and writer/mother Alison Deming about the nature of desire:
Desire enlivens our art and our lives. We are interested in the radical possibilities of articulating that desire. In exploring the culture of maternity through the lens of our particular experience, we want to illuminate some of the fictions we have supported in ourselves and in each other and ask what personal and cultural systems these fictions have served.
The book construction reflects the revelation, femininity, and equality of the author’s dialogue. The cover of the portfolio features an image by Bliss—a long black slit, stitched across, the opening of which feels like an act of delicate undressing. “Immanent Desire,” the essay by Faith Wilding, is printed on a single, unbound folio of white, eighty-pound, vertically striated cover stock. Beneath the essay the spare, heartfelt, dialogue is printed on vertical facing pages, like panels of a French door. The printed conversation happens side by side, mother’s voice on the right, daughter’s on the left as if the two were speaking face to face.