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Disappearing into Your Work:
A Conversation with Mai-Thu Perret

by Hilary Stunda

For nearly a decade, Mai-Thu Perret has created a variety of works that stem from The Crystal Frontier, a fictional narrative revolving around the members of a feminist commune in the New Mexico desert. Although she splits her time between Geneva and New York, the desert provides the perfect blank slate for her utopian ideal. There, she pays homage to the 20th-century avant-garde movements—Constructivism, Dada, and Bauhaus—that fuel her work.

Perret uses the commune members to play with the Constructivist struggle to turn “working” humans into creative workers, artists. What she creates—diary entries, letters, daily schedules, song lyrics, visual art, and poems (which have been published in a mock novel called Land of Crystal)—is a mix of historical fact and fiction that references Marxism, Modernism, and feminism.

Installation view of "Bikini," 2008.


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