Age Transformation - Poem by gershon hepner
Age transformation is devoutly to be wished
before the darkness that encroaches on the light;
but unresponsive to the cry “Mehr Licht”
it can’t remove the curse of cellulite.
Holland Cotter review an exhibition of the photos of Martha Wilson at the Mitchell Algus Gallery (NYT, April 4,2008) :
In an annotated series of costumed self-portraits called “A Portfolio of Models” (1974) , Ms. Wilson played what she called “the models society holds out to me: Goddess, Housewife, Working Girl, Professional, Earth-Mother, Lesbian.” Earlier she photographed herself as a woman playing a man in female drag, as well as an older woman trying to look like a younger woman. Her continuous and most complex role was, of course, as artist, which was done with audacious invention and wit.From there she moved into live performance (she still specializes in impersonations of presidential first ladies) and became a founding member, with Ingrid Sischy, of the feminist punk group Disband, which appears on video in “WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution” at the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in Long Island City, Queens. The photo-and-text pieces at Algus should be in that survey too, alongside related work by Eleanor Antin and Adrian Piper. Like those artists, Ms. Wilson is major history, and well deserves the excellent essay on her career by the art historian Jayne Wark reprinted in the Algus catalog. Not every artist could withstand such close scholarly scrutiny and leave you wanting to know still more. Ms. Wilson can and does.
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