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Nick Mauss | Talks to Emmelyn Butterfield-Rosen

The artist NICK MAUSS has been writing about artists, filmmakers, couturières, performers, and others for years. Taken together, the figures in his essays of indirect critique assemble as an atypical genealogy.

People like Jochen Klein, Lorraine O’Grady, Madame Grès, Ian White, Florine Stettheimer, Reza Abdoh, Nicolas Moufarrege, Susan Cianciolo, Christian Bérard, Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, Douglas Crimp, Jean Cocteau, Andy Warhol, Ray Johnson, Werner Schroeter, Kenneth Anger, and Jean Genet.

Or topics like needlepoint; costumes; the theatricalization of the city; lip-synching; dropped stitches in art history; or “painting against the straight mind.”

His essay on Rosemary Mayer, for example, starts like this:

I don’t go looking to make a discovery. But certain figures have a way of appearing unannounced, and reappearing—even interfering—while I’m already on my way elsewhere. Asleep in a footnote, pinned to the background, a name suddenly everywhere, until the din of recurrence reaches a frequency so startling, I wake up to the fact of an unshakeable presence, making new circuitry.

For this event, Nick guides us through some of his circuitry (with cameo appearances by some of the artists) and talks with art historian EMMELYN BUTTERFIELD-ROSEN, a long-time collaborator, about writing as artistic intervention.

This evening is also a celebration of a new book that gathers many of his writings, titled Dispersed Events: Selected Writings by Nick Mauss, edited and published by our good friends After 8 Books in Paris, with a foreword by Lynne Cooke. The book’s editors, ANTONIA CARRARA and BENJAMIN THOREL join as well, to talk about the many activities of their bookshop and imprint.

P.S.: Josephine Pryde says: “This is the book I want to be reading right now.” 

Organized by Anthony Huberman