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View of “Ursula Mayer,” 2014.

Ursula Mayer

Audain Gallery

View of “Ursula Mayer,” 2014.

Ursula Mayer’s recent exhibition “Not a curse, nor a bargain, but a hymn” offered a précis of the dominant culture, melding literary “classics,” fashion editorials, the metapolitical propaganda of the liberal press, science-fiction mise-en-scène, soap operas, and high-end commercial display. This maelstrom of hypercapitalist spectacle referenced the ascendance of corporate feminism—we might call it “New Economy Feminism”—over the course of the economic restructuring that began three decades ago and continues unchecked. Drawn from the play Ideal by Ayn Rand (a key figure in this strand of feminism), the exhibition’s title was excised from a man’s idealizing description of an actress named Kay Gonda—the lead character of Rand’s story and a recurrent figure in this exhibition. But it was Margaret Thatcher—her image gracing the gallery entrance in two framed

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