CIPHERS: Stephanie LaCava and Lauren Oyler discuss the intersection of power and language in image making

10 March 2023
07:00 PM

Stephanie LaCava's new novel, I Fear My Pain Interests You, and the focus of this event, explores fame, culture, and connections as currency, and their relationship to female bodies. Key to the book's plot is the discovery of a dozen film reels from the 1968 Cannes Festival, which was curtailed due to the political turmoil in France at that time. This in turn becomes a backdrop to a troubling new subjecthood, in which the protagonist's congenital inability to feel pain puts her center stage for a disgraced trauma surgeon's somewhat unusual ambitions.    

Stephanie LaCava a writer based in New York City. Her work has appeared in Harper’s, Artforum, Texte zur Kunst, the New York Times, the New York Review of Books, Vogue, and Interview. Her debut, The Superrationals, was published by Semiotext(e) in 2020.

Lauren Oyler's debut novel, Fake Accounts, likewise the subject of this discussion, concerns a woman who discovers that her boyfriend is an anonymous internet conspiracy theorist, and "the strange, refractory continuity between IRL and online that marks the present moment: the way we ping-pong between offline and online experience; how these two worlds bleed into one another, and shape our interior lives, even as we shape our exterior lives using online tools" (The Guardian 2021). It is also extremely funny, and was shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction.

Lauren Oyler is a writer based in Berlin, Germany.  Her essays on books and culture appear regularly in the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, the London Review of BooksHarper’s, the GuardianNew York Magazine’s The Cut, Bookforum, the Baffler, and the New Republic. From 2015 to 2017, she was an editor at Broadly, the now-defunct women’s site at Vice. She has also co-written two books with Alyssa Mastromonaco.

The event will also mark the Berlin premiere of BASED ON, IF ANY, a new short film directed by Tess Sahara, Isaac Hoff and Stephanie LaCava.

CIPHERS is part of a.p.'s Spring Season, a series of discussions, readings, and screenings that investigate the ever evolving relationship between literature, visual art, and technology, with a specific emphasis on both readers and writers' relationship to the screen. Each event is intended both to stand alone, and to form a dialogue with those of the other participants within the wider context of what might be loosely termed art-writing.

Please note, the event will be in English. Places are free but booking is recommended: