Title Dispersed Events: Selected Writings
Author(s)/Editor(s) Nick Mauss
Publisher After 8 Books
Pages 296
Dimensions 120 × 180 mm
Format Softcover
Year 2024

Dispersed Events brings together for the first time Nick Mauss’ essays from the last fifteen years. Shimmering with the urgency of a new generation of queer thinkers, Mauss’ writing refracts contemporary art through histories of decorative art, film, theater, and dance.

An artist renowned for critically and poetically reconfiguring inherited genealogies and hierarchies of visual culture and art history, Mauss engages writing as a space for relentlessly activating counter-histories, repositioning the voice of the artist and the readers along the way. Whether he considers the practice of artist Lorraine O’Grady, the radical fashion of Susan Cianciolo, the anarcho-vaudevillian theater of Reza Abdoh, or the potential for textiles to disclose a different way of thinking, Mauss insists on the intense power of forms and feelings in their actual rather than enforced prehistories. Reevaluating experiments in fashion, dance, and the decorative arts on the same plane as painting, sculpture and cinema, he locates art as taking shape in the middle of conversations—“between art history and any afternoon.”

“Among what might initially appear, following Mauss, ‘a wildly inscrutable web of lineages,’ the reader quickly perceives unexpected, unheralded, conjunctions: affiliations, alignments, and affinities. . . . It generates a conviction that, in the best sense, is partisan. Singular, independent, illuminating.”
—from the foreword by Lynne Cooke

* * *

“What I adore in this book is first that it doesn’t abide by any category, nor proposes any definition for what queer art or culture could be or for what research in art history should be, even expanded to certain comforting genealogies or influences.
On the contrary, the actual disparity of “events” is at the core of the book, and shapes its narrative. It allows Nick Mauss to associate, affiliate, link and weave a “widely inscrutable web,” in which the author and the reader shift their positions and points of view, constantly redirecting the conversation. What I adore in this book is that Nick Mauss tells what art, whatever it is, does to him.”
—Elisabeth Lebovici

“In these cruel times, when too many operate as if ignorance, popularity, and money set the metronome of meaning, Nick Mauss, beneficent as Mother Ginger, lifts a flounce to release his polichinelles of untimely thinking. Easy to imagine Tina Chow and Edwin Denby, critical representatives of the knowing hereafter, nodding their approval at these keen syncopations to now’s drab, monocultural rhythm.”
—Bruce Hainley

“These pages are written through a sensuous eye; encounters with art are laid bare and made tactile. With an insistent curiosity that is generous and imagistic, Mauss makes contemporaries of predecessors, creating connective tendrils and textures that generatively rupture the past. I cannot help but feel that the artworks and practices written about here love and revel in being witnessed and revisited by Mauss. They are seen-touched and responded to without closure or fixity; in the artist’s words, they ‘'cast long shadows forward.”
— Lotus L. Kang

“This is the book I want to be reading right now.”
—Josephine Pryde

Found in: All / After 8 Books