Schaechter’s empathy for the ugly side of the human condition has been consistent throughout her career. In Murder and Child, she plays out the trope of the unruly, hysterical woman with a display of the most abhorred act of female violence: infanticide. Here, the mother’s confused face is similar to that of the clown in Rape Serenade.
Schaechter recalls a book about female serial killers—often caretakers like nurses or mothers—published during this period. In the case of new mothers, hormonal imbalances can be unpredictable and catastrophic; postpartum depression is a heartbreaking condition that many women suffer without support or understanding. Additionally, this piece was completed a year after a woman’s right to control her reproductive future was litigated in the 1992 Supreme Court case Planned Parenthood v. Casey. As is often true, Schaechter’s work conflates and reinterprets multiple cultural sources.
This object was included in the following exhibitions: