Lucy R. Lippard: I See / You Mean
New Documents, 2021, Hardcover, 224 pages, 21 × 13.5 cm
Afterword by Susana Torre. Edited by Jeff Khonsary
I See / You Mean is an experimental novel about mirrors, maps, relationships, the ocean, elusive success, and possible happiness. Through a collage of verbal photographs, overheard dialogue, sexual encounters, found material, and self identification devices (astrology, the I Ching, palmistry, Tarot), it charts from past to future the changing currents between two women and two men: a writer, a model/stockbroker/maybe dictator, a photographer, and an actor. A lot happens between the lines. Art critic Lucy Lippard wrote this novel in 1970 and became a feminist in the process: “I started writing and realized I was ashamed to be a woman. Then I had to find out why. Then I got very angry. The fragmented visual form came out of contemporary art and the conflicting emotions of 1960s political confrontation; they suggested a new way to put things back together—an open-ended, female way that didn’t pretend conclusions.”
Lucy R. Lippard is a writer, activist, and curator. She is the author of twenty-five books on contemporary art and cultural criticism and has curated some fifty exhibitions in the United States, Europe, and Latin America.