New Book out now!
Astrid Mania and Thomas Fischer are happy to announce the book launch for “A Mental Masquerade”. Please join us to celebrate on 8 July at Café Bravo.
Monday, 8 July 2019, 7-9 pm
KW Institute for Contemporary Art
“A Mental Masquerade” gathers work by art critic Mary Josephson, most of it written between 1971 and 1973.
Mary Josephson does not exist. She is one of the many alter egos of notorious artist and theorist Brian O’Doherty, looking to liberate himself from the intellectual constraints of malehood and the social constraints of the art world. Josephson was a brilliant observer, a witty and fearless writer. Her reviews shed a light on New York’s art scene in 1970s.
Brian O’Doherty: “Mary’s birth was a matter of utmost seriousness for me, and not a game or mere playfulness. Impersonations have an urgency and an esthetic, which brings one into issues of masking and the mask. I want to avoid pretentiousness here; the motive force is ultimately the familiar oddity of oneself as “the other”, a stage which I believe is very common in any reasonably sensitive person’s life. Astrid Mania shows amazing insight into the implications – gender and otherwise – of Mary’s strange but quite convincing presence. Mary still has a role in my inner life, fidgeting around restlessly in a remote zone where one’s gender is more or less fluid, a sweet trace of one’s uncertain adolescent self.”
A Mental Masquerade
When Brian O’Doherty was a female art critic: Mary Josephson’s collected writings
Edited by Thomas Fischer & Astrid Mania
Published by Spector Books
Designer: Saira Hussain, Julia Guther, Studio Workshop
This publication was made possible with the support of the Schuermann Foundation.