Why TITTIPUSSIDAD Is this Season’s Mother Lode of Art Books

Screen Shot 2014-06-12 at 11.36.16

TITTIPUSSIDAD is magical storytelling. The book, by artist Sarah Lucas and photographer Julian Simmons, documents the time Lucas spent in Oaxaca, Mexico, preparing for her exhibition at the Museo Diego Rivera Anahuacalli in Mexico City. An Aztec-fascist monolith built to house Rivera’s collection of more than 50,000 pre-Columbian objects, the Museo Diego Rivera was as much ahead of its time as it was outside of time: constructed in the 1930s, it preceded the National Museum of Archeology by nearly three decades, yet its collection is organized with no regard to region, epoch, or culture; its arrangement is purely aesthetic, disregarding the items’ history and makers. “Objects surviving from ancient times have lost much of their sense, but none of their power. What is this power?” asks Lucas in TITTIPUSSIDAD, which is itself a work that defies sense with power – it’s a section-sewn hardback of 684 edge-colored pages and 705 photographs that chronicle two weeks of the artist’s work. Arriving just after an earthquake had shaken the Zapotec region of southwestern Mexico, rekindling the local volcano, Lucas said, “This place was one hell of a hub of weird energy, intention … it rubbed off, conducted, got in the veins, as did the chili and the grasshoppers.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

An oral and photographic diary, TITTIPUSSIDAD both shows and tells how Lucas created her work in direct response to Rivera’s collection and the mausoleum that houses it; it’s where the artist found the indigenous bricks she used as bases for her “Nuds” – foam-stuffed nylon tights that are manipulated into Kama Sutra puppets or appendages capable of assuming any pose, including self-penetration. “Tights that make our legs, teddy-bear fluff that make our children, blocks that make our homes, cigarettes that make our thoughts; eternity, future, duration, present,” writes Simmons in TITTIPUSSIDAD. These are fantasy materials, conjuring in us dreams of sex, fairy tales, ideal homes, elevating notions, or the inverse: transgression. “Not a religious thing, not something to be yoked to, more of an illuminating breakthrough, a true emergency,” continues Simmons. “Finding the transparent life in what is inanimate and opaque, you thought that was impossible.” Lucas wraps her “Nuds” around toilet seats or has them emerge from bowls, like scatological or sexy, unsexed pets. As the story of TITTIPUSSIDAD (or, psychoanalytically: Titti-Pussi-Dad) unfolds, Lucas invites us to behold the threshold of sculpture and time: something conscious yet elusive, remembered yet never actually witnessed, ephemeral yet mythic, historical, and catalogued.

TITTIPUSSIDAD is published by Sadie Coles HQ (London, 2013). 
Contemporary Fine Arts gallery in Berlin will launch the title on June, 12, from 6-8pm, followed by the premiere of Lucas and Simmons’s companion film REALIDAD.
www.juliansimmons.com

Deeper

  • Thus Spoke Bischofberger: Artforum’s Eternally Swiss Back Cover

    An advertisement for the art gallery belonging to dealer and collector Bruno Bischofberger has occupied the back cover of every issue of Artforum since April 1987. Seen out of context and en masse, the eternally Swiss contents of these promotions at first appear idiosyncratic; upon further scrutiny, however, they seem insane.More
  • Apparel

    032c “Dark Times” Brecht T-Shirt Black

    €50
    Buy Now
  • Société de 032c: GLOBAL PREDICTIONS from Cyber Oracle SITA ABELLAN

    “The major debate everyone is avoiding is how technology will modify our society and economy,” says the model, DJ, and self-proclaimed “techno princess” in a series of dystopian prophecies. “Technology is forging our behavior and will deeply affect who we become as human beings. Avoiding discussions about the use of technology without limitations and restraints will cause major injustices.”More
  • 032c WWB Collection

    032c WWB Turtleneck Camouflage

    €80
    Buy Now
  • Apparel

    032c Classics Logo Beanie

    €40
    Buy Now
  • Salty, Litigious, Iconoclastic: DAVID SIMON on TV as discourse

    With “The Wire,” DAVID SIMON accomplished the unlikely feat of captivating both West ­Baltimore bruisers and The New Yorker subscribers for an hour a week, over the course of six years. Twenty years into television’s latest “Golden Age,” as the creative blueprint pioneered by Simon and shows like The Sopranos unfurls into an endless stream of content from Amazon and Netflix, we revisit our 2011 interview with Simon from 032c Issue 20.More
  • OG? OK! Onitsuka Tiger Unveils 70th Anniversary OK Basketball Shoes in Berlin

    At their store on Alte Schönhauserstrasse in Berlin, Japanese footwear mainstays Onitsuka Tiger held a Japan-themed mini festival to herald the arrival of the OK Basketball MT and the OK Basketball Lo: two new shoes inspired by the groundbreaking design that ignited the Onitsuka Tiger brand almost 70 years ago.More
  • CROSS-DRESSING IN THE WEHRMACHT: Unseen Practices at the German Front

    While collecting amateur photography from periods during and after the war, Berlin-based visual artist Martin Dammann would, “from time to time,” stumble upon photographs of cross-dressing soldiers. Provoked, he began to seek out more, drawn to the “kaleidoscope of emotional states” that they revealed: “Desire for women. Desire for men. To be a woman. To be elsewhere. To be someone else.” More
  • THE BIG FLAT NOW: Power, Flatness, and Nowness in the Third Millennium

    As a contemporary metaphor, flatness describes how the invention of the Internet has restructured global society. At its origin, its promise was a social revolution founded on intersectional equality and universal democracy. It is our contention that that promise may yet be fully realized.More