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The Selves 

Sonja Ahlers (D+Q)

Poet, author and artist Sonja Ahlers’ book of collage and poetry will appeal to those who have a stack of Busts beside their futons and high on their bookmarks. Using an incredible array of found images, mostly of iconic female celebrities and figures like Holly Hobby, Jeri Blank (Amy Sedaris) and the girls from the original, groundbreaking Degrassi (perhaps the first Stephanie Kaye poem on record), Ahlers manages to say a lot about the complexities of female representations in popular culture with very little context or words on a page. Either you get it, and love it, or you don’t. The book is dominated by repeated studies of Marilyn Monroe and Princess Diana, two famous women whose personal pain remained masked behind their glamourous public personas. Ahlers pulls you in with youthful, sentimental and beautiful imagery, then leaves you wondering how the hell young girls survive and thrive in such a confusion of mixed messages.
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Vol 27, No 21
October 17, 2019

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