Carrie Ann Baade | Manufacturing of Tears
Medium: Oil on Canvas
Size: 60 x 84 inches (H x W)
“Each woman must cry and contribute her tears to a communal glass. By working together, perhaps one day they will produce enough tears to put out one fire and spare the one who is closest to immediate danger. To stop participating results in death.”
"Manufacturing of Tears" features a landscape of crying Magdalene’s atop flaming towers of Babel. Each must produce tears, which are collected. Perhaps if enough are collected, it would be enough to put the fire out of the one who is closest to perishing. Each works to keep themselves alive and to perhaps one day work hard enough to be out of immediate danger. We persevere through pain in order to survive. The struggle is to manifest meaning out of this toil; there appears to be something or someone higher than ourselves that demands that we participate. To deny participation is death.
The title for this painting is from the Devil in the White City, a book about a murderer who destroyed women during the chaos surrounding the Chicago’s 1893 World Fair. The description of “manufacturing of tears” fit well with the imagery. I had been collecting towers of babel connected to crying Mary Magdalenes. I was interested in placing these Babel-Magdalenes so that they covered the landscape, each unable to move.
In creating the collage, the windmill surreptitiously appeared…and it became apparent that it was there to blow debris into the Magdalene’s eyes and cause them to cry. In the process of collage, there are happy accidents that astound me. Next, I needed to figure out why they must cry and in my mind’s eye, I saw these structures all aflame. I realized that they were not merely sad but that they had to cry from danger of their own peril. For this reason, one is holding an onion…so as to produce more tears.