Cath Davies is an artist also known as Zoo. In 2008 she spent 10 days in the Don’t Look Gallery in Sydney periodically pumping her breasts to induce lactation as a way to cultivate a postpartum body without having given birth. Zoo sent out an open invitation for any other artists to attend and collaborate with her.
At the time I was conducting research exploring the boundaries of the body and the notion of re-creation. I decided to undertake a private performance by adopting the role of Zoo’s baby and exploring the consequences. I showed up in the early hours of the morning, as if to mimic a morning baby feeding session, and drank 2 litres of milk over a period of 50 minutes, sipping slowly through a fine plastic tube.
When I finished my feed I left with a full gut and thick mucus coating the back of my throat and up into my nasal passage. It was sticky and fatty and later could not be washed away with water or tea. I slept well. The next day I had runny diarrhoea.
I wanted to be like a baby. I wanted to put Zoo in the position of a post-pregnant mother and wake her at 4am. I wanted to do a private performance. I wanted the piece to feel surreal and slow and quiet.
I Want. I Want. I Want. I even sound like a baby.