Being a mother means holding a naked toddler while trying to go to the toilet. It is a scar the shape of a wide smile across an abdomen. It involves years of tests, injections and regimented scheduling. It gives a grown-up permission to play dead, get mummified in toilet paper and be eaten by a plastic dinosaur. It is two bare bodies, one tiny, the other enormous, intertwined as if they were always meant to be.

Having children may be the most universal phenomenon after being born and dying, yet it has rarely been represented in all its fullness through the history of art or popular culture. "Home Truths: Photography and Motherhood," a gorgeous and brave group show on view at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, feels as if it has been a long time coming. Organized by independent curator Susan Bright, the exhibition presents photographs and video by Janine Antoni, Elina Brotherus, Ana Casas Broda, Elinor Carucci, Tierney Gearon, Fred Huning, Hanna Putz, Ann Fessler and Katie Murray. Together these artists move the image of motherhood far beyond the Virgin Mary, Demi Moore and Kate Gosselin.

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