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visiting artist response - suzanne lacy

I thought I had posted this response earlier but can’t seem to find it on the blog so here we go again:

I went to see a presentation and talk by an artist named Suzanne Lacy. Lacy lives in Los Angeles California and currently holds a position in the Fine Arts Department at the Otis College of Art and Design. She specializes in performance art as well as installation. The two pieces that she discussed in depth during her talk were both performance art pieces of similar nature dealing with politics, racial and age discrimination, and identity.

“The Crystal Quilt? project consisted of over 400 elderly women, over the age of 60, and confronted the topic of how elderly people are seen to the public as well as how they view themselves. The women were arranged at various circular tables, dressed in similar colors and told to hold hands while they talked about their lives and accomplishments. After being able to talk to women in the same age demographic as one another, the women began to develop a more meaningful view of their own lives and were able to point out various important accomplishments and sacrifices that had been made throughout their lives. This performance was broadcast live on PBS which seemed to give it more significance.

“The Roof is on Fire? was another performance piece which was broadcast on various news channels including CNN. This project gathered around 200 teenagers, most of who came from the inner city, and arranged them in different automobiles parked on the roof of a parking structure. They were prompted to engage in dialogues regarding typical teenage life in the city and all the topics that they usually don’t get a chance to voice their side on (drugs, racial profiling, alcohol, teen pregnancy, etc.) The local police were also invited and seeing these two opposite forces coming together in a controlled environment without conflict was actually quite a powerful image. This piece to me seemed to have the biggest public impact.