At Unseen Amsterdam & Salon Zürcher, NY
Thu 15 – Sun 18 Sep (Amsterdam)
Mon 5 – Sun 11 Sep (New York)
TMH’s stands at Unseen Amsterdam and Salon Zürcher, New York (11 Women of Spirit VI) will be solo presentations of the French artist MARY SUE (assumed identity) and her new photo-performance series ENTARTAINMENT. As has become her practice, the artist plays with the feminist character whose name she has adopted: a “flawless Mary Sue” who, seemingly naïve, somewhat unconsciously reveals the most tragic and shameful aspects of life. (Mary Sue’s most recent large project for TMH centered on the plight of women employed in menial jobs.)
In these works, Mary Sue investigates her singular “inverted autofictions” by turning to classic female figures from literary texts, TV, and cartoons. These perfect, iconic characters, which have defined the imaginations of countless generations of girls and have contributed to the construction of the Western female self-image, end up caught in a self-inflicted “pie-in-the-face” predicament. Unperturbed—as they are beautiful superheroines and/or fashion plates—they seem to enjoy being covered in cream no less than living out their picture-perfect destinies.
ENTARTAINMENT #1-9, 2022
Performance process, C-print
105 x 105 / 55 x 55 cm, each
Includes artist’s frame
Ed. of 7
TMH LIMITED EDITION
In her autofictions, Mary Sue is halfway between fiction and reality, with one foot in childhood and the other in the adult world, an in-between who does not belong to one side or the other. It is not a question of being unable to make a choice, but of finding a place that can reveal the mechanics of the contemporary world, a place where everything is permitted.
This is the place of art. It is a place of contradictions, where things link with and oppose each other constantly, where ardent activism and naïve passivity intermingle. It is a place where our hidden prejudices are revealed, and where a false sense of emancipation reigns supreme.
Mary Sue is the most serious of games—a game that makes fun of the world, while in fact being fully part of it.
Clips available on request
Mary Sue (assumed identity, established between 1979 and now) uses color to a poignant effect in performances rendered as videos, photographs, art objects, and drawings. Under her sobriquet adopted while at the ENSA of Dijon, she has had exhibitions in France, Belgium, and Italy and has participated in Art Basel, FIAC, and Art Brussels. Mary Sue’s working method, deploying the most advanced digital means, involves a critical reading of real places and situations through the prism of her cartoonish alter ego. Her vast project on childhood and loss, La Flotte, gained attention at the Art, ville et paysage festival (2017) in Amiens. In 2021, she was invited to participate in the XXIV International Encounters Traverse Video Festival, Toulouse, and Screen Time at the Samek Art Museum, Pennsylvania. She will be TMH’s artist in focus at Salon Zürcher: 11 Women of Spirit VI, New York, and Unseen Amsterdam in 2022.