I am documenting my journey as a single mom. I had my baby at 41 in 2020 with a friend who helped me as a sperm donor after my longterm relationship broke up. I have full custody, so everything is up to me, but he plays a role as a father to our child. It is a diary that is about my happiness, my struggle and my worries of becoming a self-chosen, single, modern artist mother, even in a time when the Covid-19 virus happened and everything suddenly became unsafe in the world. It is an ongoing project.

Some physiological changes during pregnancy: 1. Your blood volume increases 2. You actually glow 3. You grow an entire organ (placenta) 4. You stop shedding hair 5. You breathe differently 6. Breasts are getting bigger

Hormonal changes taking place in pregnancy will make your nipples and the area around them go darker. Your skin colour may also darken a little, either in patches or all over. Birthmarks, moles and freckles may also darken.

I got pregnant in February 2020, just before Covid-19 happened and all the shutdowns, crises and movements started all over the world. On one side I was so happy and excited because a little person was growing inside me and that is so magical and nature is such a miracle and I have always felt that I was born to be a mother, that instinct was very strong in me and the love for children is huge and so was my protection for my unborn baby. But then on the other side suddenly all this happened and of course I started thinking a lot about this world and where my child will be born into. My body was changing, my soul was changing, my mind was changing. I was growing in every way and in every aspect of life. What can I do better, how can I raise my child to be a good, generous, independent, healthy person who gives love and not hate and who treats all people equally? It is a very reflective time with many lessons and I hope that I, we and the new generation will learn from the mistakes. I promise that I will do my best.

My daughter was born in November 2020.

In this picture, I was still struggling with pregnancy poisoning (pre-eclampsia), and I was terribly exhausted due to the difficult delivery. I gained 24 kg, mainly because of the water that accumulated everywhere in my body, even around my eyes, which is a symptom and side effect of the poisoning. I lost the edema (water) again within two weeks. Apart from all this, I was the happiest person, even though I don't look like it in this picture.

I experienced a difficult, traumatic birth in which my baby was not in danger, but I was. I aimed for a natural birth, which I did. But in the end, just before my daughter found her way out of my womb, my hypertension skyrocketed and my levels dropped dramatically. So I was in labor for hours and ended up having to have an emergency c-section. I was high on morphine and they gave me more medication to keep my pregnancy toxicity in check, which was in full swing. I was feeling really bad and my body was getting so weak that I was shaking uncontrollably. For a moment, I really thought I wasn't going to make it. How abysmally beautiful and at the same time how brutally violent nature can be. But as almost any mother will tell you, the moment you hold your baby in your arms, all the pain is forgotten. And it's true.

I had to stay in the hospital for a whole week to recover from pregnancy poisoning.

Fortunately, although I was separated from her for a few hours after the birth, breastfeeding worked well right away.

For me it is not a matter of course that I can have a child. I was always in a relationship with men who didn't want children. So it took me longer to fulfill my dream and I was lucky that – despite my age – I ended up getting pregnant without any problems. But I went through a hard time wanting a child and not being sure if I would ever manage to have one. I felt like my time was running out. I had to leave some loved ones behind. Even during a pregnancy, I had worries about whether I would be able to keep it, whether it would stay, because we have to trust nature and it's still a fear and probably always will be. These are all side effects that we don't talk about. A woman's ticking clock, we joke about it, but it's not fun, it's a lot of pressure because we only have a certain window of time as a woman to join the maternity club and that's a fact.

We all have some kind of plan for what life should be like. I had a clear plan in my mind of how I wanted to live and how it should be, and some plans certainly came true because I worked for it, because I committed to it, because I fought for it. On the other hand, sometimes I think the universe has other plans and things turn out differently than expected or desired. Maybe it has bigger plans. Maybe I was destined to be a single mom, even though I always wanted a big family. I am trying to embrace the new me, the change, the struggle, but also how I am thriving again. I am able to enter a new field of experience. Sometimes we lose something we thought would be forever, we grieve, we breathe a sigh of relief, and then we find new gifts and treasures again. I value my self-determined life.

„Today everything exists to end in a photograph.“  ― Susan Sontag

Do you know who I am is an ongoing project
that focuses on the homogenization in Western
culture, namely in the sphere of instagram / social
media, and its immediacy, brought about by
constantly and instantly taking smartphone pictures.
Working with photography, video, internet generated
texts and performances, Jessica Wolfelsperger
examines social media’s potential in achieving
ultimate freedom, allowing everyone to create content
and take part in the flow of images.

Selfie project here: www.instagram.com/jessicawolfelsperger/

This work was made during  a mentoring Program of
Parallel Photo Platform funded by the European Community,
conceived by Procur.arte.

Listen to the generated Poems here:

A hundred souls village in the Verzasca Valley, surrounded by mountains amidst pure nature. For some weeks, isolated from the outside world, it seems. In a traditional stone house near the river, amidst the secluded beautiful mysticism. Enchanted by this valley, I read the ancient myths and legends of the region and feel the aura. They exemplarily address the discussion with nature, whereby the nature of the human being is also meant. Behind them are representations of faith, which are expressed symbolically. In search of the experience of a divine or absolute reality, I discover and explore my homeland new and wash myself – according to the life philosophy of Monte Verità – free from my daily life in the bustling metropolis and devise my own legend.

Ein einhundert Seelendorf im Verzasca Tal, umringt von Bergen inmitten der puren Natur. Für einige Wochen, abgeschieden von der Aussenwelt, so scheint es. In einem traditionellen Steinhaus nahe am Fluss, inmitten der einsamen, wunderschönen Mystik. Verzaubert von diesem Tal, lese ich die alten Mythen und Sagen der Region und spüre die Aura. Sie thematisieren exemplarisch die Auseinandersetzung mit der Natur, wobei auch die Natur des Menschen gemeint ist. Dahinter stehen Glaubensvorstellungen, die sich darin symbolisch ausdrücken. Bemüht um die Erfahrung einer göttlichen oder absoluten Wirklichkeit, entdecke und erforsche ich mein Heimatland neu und wasche mich – frei nach der Lebensphilosophie von Monte Verità – rein von meinem Alltag in der pulsierenden Grossstadt und spinne mir meine eigene Legende.


Verzasca Foto Artist-in-Residence project was made in collaboration with Pro Helvetia New Delhi, SMArt (Sustainable Mountain Art) and ERS/LVM (Ente Regionale per lo sviluppo del Locarnese).

Fear of falling asleep at night.
Fear of not falling asleep.
Fear of the past rising up.
Fear of the present taking flight.
Fear of the telephone that rings in the dead of night.
Fear of electrical storms.
Fear of the cleaning woman who has a spot on her cheek!
Fear of dogs I've been told won't bite.
Fear of anxiety!
Fear of having to identify the body of a dead friend.
Fear of running out of money.
Fear of having too much, though people will not believe this.
Fear of psychological profiles.
Fear of being late and fear of arriving before anyone else.
Fear of my children's handwriting on envelopes.
Fear they'll die before I do, and I'll feel guilty.
Fear of having to live with my mother in her old age, and mine.
Fear of confusion.
Fear this day will end on an unhappy note.
Fear of waking up to find you gone.
Fear of not loving and fear of not loving enough.
Fear that what I love will prove lethal to those I love.
Fear of death.
Fear of living too long.
Fear of death.

I've said that.

by Raymond Carver

"Hide + Seek" is a series about anxiety. Each era creates its own fears, where new anxiety emerges. Classic phobias remain constant, but they are always seeking for current objects. We are free but sometimes we are locked in our own heads.

"Hide + Seek" ist eine Serie über Angst. Jede Ära schafft ihre eigene Furcht, wo neue Ängste entstehn. Klassische Phobien bleiben konstant, aber sie suchen immer nach aktuellen Objekten. Wir sind frei, aber manchmal in unseren eigenen Köpfen gefangen.