curated by Fabio Cavallucci in collaboration with Megan Steinman
The exhibition presents, for the first time in Europe, a large series of works of this Los Angeles artist, known as one of the initiators of the crucial operation of blending conceptual and performance art with social commitment in the early seventies in Los Angeles. Her activity ranges from explorations of the body and intimate reflections to the production of large and lengthy public demonstrations involving dozens of artists and thousands of spectators.
The exhibition, curated by the new director Fabio Cavallucci in collaboration with Megan Steinman, presents some of the works in which the artist has addressed the essential themes of the female condition: sexual exploitation and violence; aging and media representation of the older woman; and social issues ranging from racism to the conditions of labor and class–themes which were provocative and avant-garde in the seventies and eighties and are still highly topical today.
The exhibition proposes re-adaptations of some of Suzanne Lacy’s most important works. One of these, Prostitution Notes (1974), was an investigation of prostitutes and their exploitation in some areas of Los Angeles, with interviews in the bars and clubs where they hung out. In Three Weeks in May (1977), working in agreement with the Los Angeles police from whom she received daily information, the artist indicated on a map of the town the places where sexual violence against women took place, writing the word RAPE in red on them. The map became redder every day, visually demonstrating the dramatic nature of the problem. In Mourning and In Rage (1977) is a work created at the time when there had been a brutal strangling of ten women by a serial killer in Los Angeles. With other activists, Suzanne Lacy presented herself in front of the Los Angeles city hall with ten female figures covered in black robes from head to foot. Each of these pronounced a protest against a different type of violence against women, subverting the mass media coverage from a focus on specific victims histories to the general culture of violence.
The exhibition includes more recent works such as Full Circle (1994), in which the artist displayed rock monuments dedicated to important women from Chicago, and Storying Rape (2012), a discussion among important media personalities, activists and politicians in an attempt to find a different way of describing sexual violence—a new cultural narrative. Finally, there is a video and paper document archive section which reveals the artist’s multifaceted interests, with many works including the early ones on the theme of the body and flesh.
A special catalogue will be produced for the occasion, the first in a series published by Mousse, which covers Suzanne Lacy’s whole career, with texts by Sally Tallant, an interview with Suzanne Lacy by Fabio Cavallucci, and the reproduction of many works produced by the artist from the seventies up to the present day.
Ripa di Porta Ticinese, 113, 20143 Milano, Italia
Centro per l’arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato
In accordo con SpazioBorgogno
Studi d’Arte Cave Michelangelo e Castello del Trebbio
T. +39 02-36695249-40