Author: Masha Tupitsyn
Introduction: Kevin Killian
Publisher: Semiotext(e) (2019)
A multigenre investigation of the personal and cultural annals of memory, identity, and spectatorship, both on and off the screen.
With her debut collection Beauty Talk & Monsters (2007), Masha Tupitsyn established a new genre of hybrid writing that melded film criticism, philosophy, and autobiography. Picture Cycle continues Tupitsyn's multigenre investigation of the personal and cultural annals of memory, identity, and spectatorship, both on and off the screen. Composed over a ten-year period, Picture Cycle is a pioneering collection whose sharp and knowing vignette-like essays form a critical autobiography of the daily images in our lives. Deftly covering a range of theoretical and cinematic frameworks, Tupitsyn traces here the quickly vanishing line between onscreen and offscreen, predigital and postdigital. The result is a unique intellectual study of the uncanny formation of our life's biographies through images.
"Picture Cycle is a brilliant work of cultural criticism. At once lyrical and incisively analytical, it investigates, with great acuity, intellectual range, and undercurrent of mourning, “the new emotional schematic,” where lives and screens become hauntingly inseparable. In essays that reach back into pre-digital childhood and fast forward into an ever-spreading simulacrum, Masha Tupitsyn's gaze is always vibrant, curious, and compellingly alert to the telling detail and revealing contradiction. These formally inventive essays bring to mind both Gertrude Stein and John Berger, as they illuminate with beauty and tenderness a world that 'stopped being The World and became something else.'"
"Like all good criticism, [Masha Tupitsyn] takes the esoteric or ineffable elements in art and renders them obvious, instinctive. What is so envy-making about her writing is that she does this with such graciousness that she makes it look easy."