Love Will Tear Us Apart, Again: Tupitsyn Art Review


McKenzie Wark in Berfrois:

“I’m not proof of myself, myths are.” We are made of myths, among other things. They seem like they are personal, but myths are not really personal. They are pervasive, invasive. “The Wizard of Oz is on TV after I spend the entire day singing ‘If I only had a brain’ to myself.” Myths are a technology, produced and circulated by other technologies.

Whether voiced in the first, second or third person, I take the stories that Masha Tupitsyn tells about her person to be selectively true. As in Chris Kraus, they are neither entirely confessional nor fictional. They are in part a personal mythology, but they are also accounts of the techniques via which the myth of the self gets made out of situations, using bits and pieces, faces and voices, clipped and mixed from the media of a time. Our hearts and brains are transplants, but no less ours for all that. It’s a question of what one makes of it.

There are two places that figure in her origin stories: New York City as a place of everyday life; and summering in Provincetown, which is the site of a kind of utopian experience, another city for another life. Later, there will be other places: London, Rome, Berlin, the California coast. “Your fantasy has always been to run away. To a faraway place, into a book and into love with just one person.” The lost utopian moment never quite returns. The gap between its memory and the possibilities of loving and thinking, here and now, animates a certain critical energy.

This Provincetown of memory is a place of oceanic freedom. Going to the movies, sometimes with her mother, sometimes alone. The resource that is cinema, for the young: “Everyone thinks desire is make believe when it comes to famous people and movies. In that case, you can go all the way. Go for it.” Young Masha rides her bike around everywhere, with a headphone sound track, cruising with a kind of tomboy autonomy. “I was being the kind of boy I wanted boys to be with me.” This Provincetown is a place of wonder and growth, of being and letting be. It’s a place of being understood but alone.

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