Once U Care, You're Future

Laura Yuile

This artwork questions society's tendency to use the figure of the child to represent “the future” and the problems of this for those who choose not to reproduce or cannot reproduce.

In this film of Yuile’s performance, plastic babies are swept, gathered and re-distributed by cleaners, who pause only occasionally to check their phones. They are seemingly oblivious to the soundtrack that resonates throughout the space in New Hunt’s House at King’s College London, in which emotional adverts use children’s voices to sell technology and green energy, interrupted periodically by “announcements” that draw from writing by queer theorist Lee Edelman.

Linking the never-ending feminine labour of child-rearing and cleaning with imagery of children used by corporations to sell us new technologies, Yuile questions our drive for biological reproduction, technological innovation, and obsession with the future.

This is one of three works exploring reproduction and technology selected for the exhibition by Helen Knowles, curator of the Birth Rites Collection at King's College London. The Birth Rites Collection is the first and only collection of contemporary artwork dedicated to the subject of childbirth, hosted by the Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Palliative Care.

Image: Once you care, you're future, Laura Yuile, 2019. Image: Rebecca Lennon, courtesy of Birth Rites Collection.

About the contributor(s) 

Laura Yuile is an artist from Glasgow, currently based in London. Her work is multidisciplinary, installation-based, and performative. It explores notions of the domestic and the urban through the intimate (or public) matters of living together; personal care and household maintenance; wellness and well-being; and the effects of globalization and technological development on urban and living space.