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Lutz Bacher, Jokes (Mel Brooks), 1987, 38 x 60". From the series “Jokes,” 1987–88.

Lutz Bacher

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Lutz Bacher, Jokes (Mel Brooks), 1987, 38 x 60". From the series “Jokes,” 1987–88.

TUCKED AWAY IN A SIDE GALLERY of P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, the nine panels of Lutz Bacher’s obscure but essential early work The Lee Harvey Oswald Interview, 1976, constituted the core of her first museum retrospective. Intended as a publication maquette, the original pasteup (owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art) is composed of eighteen 8 1/2 x 11“ sheets of paper collaged with xeroxed photos and texts, typed text on notebook pages, handwriting, and tape; in the version exhibited here, these pages were reproduced as photostats on nine 20 x 24” panels. The look is stark and fragmentary. Amid the high-contrast snapshots of faces, texts cut in, stutter, and break up. The typed Q&A self-interview is ostensibly about Lee Harvey Oswald and whether his widely varying appearance in different photographs indicates subterfuge or cover-up. But neither the questions nor the “answers”

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