Ms Real thinks about how she can never decide if she really likes anything and really wishes that she could come to more conclusions. Understanding this well however, she knows that maintaining this approach means that you can avoid upsetting anyone or saying something that you or anyone else might disagree with later. Not that one must have an opinion on everything, she thinks, but sometimes it might be easier not to. She takes a slow walk over to a low hanging sculpture, staring through a hole in the ceramic and directly into the eyes of an impish child who crosses their eyes at her manically and runs off.
‘What if artworks were experienced like this, really? Encountered somewhat smashed together, one after the other, feeling distinctly hungover, lying on your stomach on the gallery floor, your phone on fire, your brain full of song and gossip and other people’s ideas, your whole self open to actually feeling it all? What if these were the realest conditions for art-thinking, art-writing and serious critical engagement? These are provocations of Caitlin Merrett King’s brilliant first book – an urgent repurposing of Lynne Tillman’s Madame Realism sequence for Glasgow, for the state of art criticism today, for our own precarious times.’
– Kate Briggs
‘A riotous, disaffected culture crawl across Glasgow, where there’s a craft bakery on every corner and more artists than New York’s Chelsea Hotel. Ms Real is well read and well fed, with an anxious eye for detail and a sharp tongue. I love a book that airs its influences in public and isn’t afraid to try a little too hard. Merrett King is the kind of playful, critical voice I want to read right now.’
– Naomi Pearce
Caitlin Merrett King is a writer and art programmer based in Glasgow, Scotland. She has published writing with Sticky Fingers, MAP Magazine, Nothing Personal, and Pilot Press.
Annie Goodner is a writer, critic and educator living in Amsterdam. Her writing has appeared in Artforum, Mousse, e-flux Education, among others, and is currently co-developing a Netherlands-based art criticism platform informed by research into collective writing practices.