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From the Publisher"Irene Gammel's Baroness Elsa mounts an enthusiastic case for her as one of the great unsung modernists." Joy Press Village Voice
"The Baroness could not have asked for a more thoughtful and engaged monument thanGammel's book." Holland Cotter New York Times
"The Baroness could not have asked for a more thoughtful and engaged monument thanGammel's book... a dense, passionate book." Holland Cotter The New York Times Book Review
"Standing alone and often naked, Carolee Schneemann has for the past forty years embodied what Lucy Lippard calls a 'mythological revolution.' Her mythic heroine is the 'eye body': the perceiving organism, simultaneously subject and object, which in itself becomes the refracting mirror of all history and political struggle, nature and culture, biology and religion, art and language. Imaging her Erotics chronicles, through words and pictures, this artist's attempts to inscribe her own 'eye body' into the materials of painting and sculpture, photography and film,installation works and performances: her rapturous and remarkable quest to fuse with both the shamanic roots of civilization and the physical spaces of contemporary art."—Shelley Rice, author of Parisian Views and editor of Inverted Odysseys: Maya Deren, Claude Cahun, Cindy ShermanPlease note: Endorser gives permission to excerpt from quote.
"This book is a true discovery. To find the outer limits of avant-garde performance,we need not look forward, but back, for when it comes to boundary breaking and gender crossing,today's artists can find no more daring example than the long lost Baroness Elsa. Thanks to IreneGammel's own unprecedented study, she is back."—Marina Abramovic, artist, Academy of Fine Arts,Braunschweig
"The Baroness cut the most compelling modernist figure. She literally wore New York dada, thus inventing it as a pattern of aesthetic costume to be worn so tight that it was her skin,her self. She was, as Irene Gammel puts it in this remarkable biographical study, an 'assemblage of paradoxes embodied in one body.' That the Baroness knew and inspired or inspiringly repelled nearly everyone associated with the rise of modernist practice in New York has been already part of the story, but it has never been so richly detailed. In Gammel's presentation the Baroness emerges as far more than an ingenue. She became a mature, self-conscious, dynamic, artistic force—and remarkably productive in her own right, not despite but because she exhausted herself from the inside out."—Alan Filreis, Class of 1942 Professor of English, University of PennsylvaniaPlease note: Do not excerpt without asking him first.
"Irene Gammel's Baroness Elsa is a thorough and measured rendition of a life that was anything but thorough and measured, and it bears witness not only to the trials and triumphs of a major woman artist but also to a truism that never ceases to astound: that one small shift in historical perspective can yield a completely different (and much more interesting) story than the one we have always been told."—Shelley Rice, author of Parisian Views and editor of InvertedOdysseys: Maya Deren, Claude Cahun, Cindy Sherman
"In histories of early twentieth-century Euro-American avant-gardism, the BaronessElsa von Freytag-Loringhoven—poet, visual and performance artist—is often considered a freakish,eccentric, though fascinating personality on its margins. With Irene Gammel's meticulously researched and engaging biography, the Baroness finally takes her rightful place in the avant-garde'score."—Naomi Sawelson-Gorse, editor of Women in Dada: Essays on Sex, Gender, andIdentity
"Baroness Elsa presents a fascinating framework for Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven's participation in the constellations of international Dada. Gammel's cultural biography sustains the suspense of a mystery tale, revealing unexpected influences and conceptual interchange between major artists."—Carolee Schneemann, visual artist, author of Imaging Her Erotics: Essays, Interviews,Projects
"As a language and performance artist, I have the highest respect for the early avant-garde and for dada artists. In Gammel's biography, the Baroness emerges as a truly groundbreaking force."—Yoko Ono
"Scholars of modernism in its intersections with feminism and anticipations of post-modernism have long been fascinated by the idiosyncratic Baroness Elsa—body artist,multi-lingual poet, and tragic advocate for artistic and sexual freedom. Irene Gammel has written the book that we were waiting for: its exhaustive research, rich detail, and wide-ranging cultural critique place the Baroness in the company of her peers while honoring her uniqueness."—CarolynBurke, author of Becoming Modern: The Life of Mina Loy and of a forthcoming biography of LeeMiller
"With perfect aim, Gammel lobs the Baroness Elsa like a hand grenade back into the melee over the nature and duration of the avant-garde legacy."—Marisa Januzzi Thomas, Institute forResearch on Women and Gender, Columbia University