The Hand that Rocks the Cradle


On Veteran’s Day, 1978, Judy Nylon  performed The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, a fifteen-minute performance art piece that juxtaposed motherhood and terrorism. In the piece, Nylon, dressed in a red rubber apron and conservative grey dress to represent a stereotypical housewife, patiently taught two young “daughters” to aim and shoot a revolver, all against a backdrop of primary colors and Xeroxed photos of former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro’s dead bodyguards. The performance was part of The Kitchen’s Imports series, designed to showcase the work of international artists. Nylon intended the piece to “evidence the coexistence of motherhood and terrorism. Both are acts of fundamental idealism, liberated in instinct and self-perpetuance.”

Supplemental Information

Art in America Review [PDF]
Cabaret Beat Review [PDF]
Press Release [PDF]
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