Trisha Baga’s The Great Pam

Spread from Trisha Baga’s The Great Pam, 2014, bound paper, 8 × 10 1/2".

The Great Pam, by Trisha Baga. Berlin: Edition Société, 2014. 232 pages. Edition of 120.

TRISHA BAGA IS FLUENT in the emotional manipulation of popular culture. From Madonna to Plymouth Rock to American Beauty, the artist channels and contorts the manufactured affect of mass culture in her immersive videos, installations, and performances. And if her environments are often overwhelming, with maximal arrays of information being emitted by screens and sounds and objects, they nevertheless deploy their cultural clichés with pinpoint accuracy, situating the viewer not only in a specific historical moment but also at a precise point along a narrative arc. It’s fitting, then, that for her most recent artist’s book, Baga has cannibalized one of the most classic American tales: The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s sordid and violent chronicle of the Roaring Twenties.

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