New York

Mary Beth Edelson

Artists' Book

MARY BETH EDELSON’s self-published and strongly feminist book, Seven Cycles: Public Rituals (with an introduction by Lucy R. Lippard), is, essentially, a retrospective. It documents, through photographs, working notes, drawings and explanatory texts, aspects of her work from 1971 to 1980. “Aspects” is an important word, because the book does not give equal weight to all of the artist’s accomplishments. Edelson has produced works in a number of different visual media, and though many of the art objects she has created are documented (in small photographs) throughout the book, they are not its primary focus. The emphasis in Seven Cycles is, instead, on the rituals and performances (many of which incorporated, or gave birth to, objects) that represent the collective aspects of Edelson’s art.

Seven Cycles begins in 1971 with a project entitled “22 Others,” in which the artist invited 22 people

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