|A novel by Matthew Licht|
Rita McBride is a prominent American artist based in Düsseldorf, whose sculptures and installations deal with fiction and public space and often provide a set for performances and lectures. She has edited a series of books for which she invited other artists and writers to write short stories involving constraints and a relationship to the art world. Each of the books corresponds to a sub literary genre (crime novels, SF, soft-eroticism, and so on).
Westways is the fifth in Rita McBride's continuing "Ways" series of collaborative novels, this time with writer and climber Matthew Licht. We follow Mae West from her childhood in 19th-century Brooklyn through her adventures with W.C. Fields at the 1931 Oktoberfest to a Sapphic encounter with Leni Riefenstahl on a safari in the 1970s, picking up a fighter pilot, Salvador Dalí, and Billy Wilder for the ride. Published to coincide with the completion of McBride's 52-meter-high "Mae West" public commission at Munich's Effnerplatz, the artist's Mae West is actress, inflatable vest, sculpture, exhibition, and now finally a book.
The publication is part of the series of artists' projects edited by Christoph Keller.