I arrive at the Mercer Union building (1286 Bloor Street West) just as The Milk Truck takes the corner at Bloor and St Clarens. A giant breast on top of a delivery truck, a flashing red cherry for a nipple. The truck is white and pink and blue, with stripes and polka dots. I think ice cream truck. I think yum. It is 6 pm on Friday, March 23rd, 2012. A weekend of performance art is about to begin – live, durational, and video pieces – collected under the title The New Maternalisms, curated by Natalie Loveless, in conjunction with The Fado Performance Art Center.
Jill Miller has brought her Milk Truck from Pittsburgh. It is a social action piece. The milk truck is available on call, like a breastfeeding ambulance service, for women in the city who encounter negative reactions, or are prevented from breast feeding in public. They can call, email or text the truck and The Milk Truck crew will arrive and set up an impromptu party, along with comfy chairs, a colouful throw rug, to challenge the idea that breastfeeding isn’t a public event, as much a right as dining out in a restaurant, or eating a sandwich on the bus.