PRINT Summer 2016


“‘My’ Masculinity”

Nicola Tyson, Standing Figure #6, 2016, graphite on paper, 39 × 25 1/2".


IN 1994, I WROTE AN ESSAY—“‘My’ Masculinity”—for Artforum’s “Man Trouble” feature, organized by Maurice Berger. Twenty-two years later, I revoke my earlier version and start the composition all over again. (Consider the two essays mismatched nipples.) Did anyone own masculinity in 1994? Aren’t we finished with possessiveness—its sodden betrayals, its puerilities, its cuts?


I only half-mean what I say; identity remains in the half-meaning, the ruse I fall into when I begin this odd dance called thinking. I don’t have an identity, only

a vast fatigue—

did I once call it

a vast summational

fatigue (but what

am I summoning

when I say “summational”)?


Summing-up is the enemy of staggered discovery, and yet I feel nostalgia for thinkers, like Siegfried Kracauer, who confidently strike final poses: “Like emigrants gathering up their personal belongings, bourgeois

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