Reading: Riet Wijnen, Marlow Moss

3 March 2016, 18:00

Cover of Riet Wijnen, Marlow Moss, 2013. Publication, offset print, 123 pages, 17 × 11 cm, edition of 400, published by Kunstverein, Amsterdam.

As part of our exhibition Autobiography, artist Riet Wijnen will read from her book Marlow Moss (2013).

The publication tells the story of the British Constructivist artist Marlow Moss (1898–1958) and her work through a series of lists with ‘facts’. These list are compiled from writings about and by Moss, containing contradictions and gaps that result from the different sources and forms of writing, as well as the decision of Moss to introduce a level of opacity in her own biography. Born Marjorie, Moss changed her name to the more androgynous sounding Marlow and gave herself a masculine appearance.

In part because some characters in the novels written by Netty Nijhoff, Moss’ partner, are based on Moss, these fictional biographies have been sometimes treated as non-fiction, because of the lack of information on Moss. The publication is an alternative biography that indirectly shows how history is constructed.

“Marlow Moss had short hair, combed completely flat and cut with absolute precision; had a high, white, forehead; had a narrow neck; had a small, oval, skull; had deep golden-brown eyes; her skin had a pale shine; her jaw and chin were a pure line; she was petite; had a sartorial style; wore jodhpurs and riding jackets; …”

Marlow Moss is published by Kunstverein, Amsterdam.