Lucy McKenzie often refers to her prints and editions as posters. This description has less to do with their form—most were self-published in small quantities using techniques associated with the fine arts—than with their original function. The portfolios on view here, for example, were published in conjunction with evenings of poetry and music that McKenzie organized in Glasgow (Flourish Nights) or cabaret-like events copresented with artist Paulina Olowska in Warsaw (Nova Popularna). Instead of providing practical promotional information (locations, dates, times), the posters that make up Nova Popularna offer visual clues to their meaning, but their motifs begin to resonate only when they are seen together as a group.
In Olympic Dames, a project conceived as a centerfold for the British journal Make: The Magazine of Women’s Art, McKenzie has also combined imagery from multiple sources (personal photographs, pictures of gymnasts, and images from the pornographic magazine Mayfair) to generate both dissonance and powerful visual connections between the female subjects. The tagline “your body is a playing field”—a riff on artist Barbara Kruger’s iconic feminist work Your Body Is a Battleground—could be a manifesto for McKenzie’s artistic concerns and approach.