Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Navigation

Suzanne Lacy

Spaces Between

2010
Author:

Sharon Irish

Suzanne Lacy

The first in-depth exploration of the dynamic work of this radical artist

In this critical examination of Suzanne Lacy, Sharon Irish surveys Lacy’s art from 1972 to the present, demonstrating the pivotal roles that Lacy has had in public art, feminist theory, and community organizing. Irish investigates the spaces between art and life, self and other, and the body and physical structures in Lacy’s multifaceted artistic projects.

An insightful consideration of Suzanne Lacy’s feminist public art practice.

Choice

Often controversial and sometimes even shocking to audiences, the work of California-based artist Suzanne Lacy has challenged viewers and participants with personal accounts of traumatic events, settings that require people to assume uncomfortable positions, multisensory productions that evoke emotional as well as intellectual responses, and even flayed lambs and beef kidneys. Lacy has experimented with ways to claim the power of mass media, to use women’s consciousness-raising groups as a performance structure, and to connect her projects to lived experiences. The body and large groups of bodies are the locations for her lifelike art, revealing the aesthetics of relationships among people.

In this critical examination of Suzanne Lacy, Sharon Irish surveys Lacy’s art from 1972 to the present, demonstrating the pivotal roles that Lacy has had in public art, feminist theory, and community organizing. Lacy initially used her own body—or animal organs—to visually depict psychological states or social conditions in photographs, collages, and installations. In the late 1970s she turned to organizing large groups of people into art events—including her most famous work, The Crystal Quilt, a 1987 performance broadcast live on PBS and featuring hundreds of women in Minneapolis—and pioneered a new genre of public art.

Irish investigates the spaces between art and life, self and other, and the body and physical structures in Lacy’s multifaceted artistic projects, showing how throughout her influential career Lacy has created art that resists racism, promotes feminism, and explores challenging human relationships.

Suzanne Lacy

Sharon Irish holds a joint appointment in the School of Architecture and the Community Informatics Initiative/Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana–Champaign. She is the author of Cass Gilbert, Architect: Modern Traditionalist.

Suzanne Lacy

An insightful consideration of Suzanne Lacy’s feminist public art practice.

Choice

Enter Spaces Between if you want to see how a better world might be created. Reside there awhile if you want to take public performance to the next level.

Public Art Review

Her book establishes a strong foundation for future studies of Lacy and other feminist artists, no simple task.

Woman’s Art Journal

Sharon Irish’s Suzanne Lacy: Spaces Between is a much needed thorough investigation of the socio-historical, political, and philosophical underpinnings of Suzanne Lacy’s art from 1972 to present.

Public Art Dialogue

Beautifully written.

Alexander Street Press

Suzanne Lacy

SEE A VIDEO WITH THE AUTHOR THAT INCLUDES FOOTAGE FROM THE CRYSTAL QUILT IN MINNEAPOLIS (BELOW)

 

UMP blog: The Monstrous Feminine*: Lady Gaga in a Meat Dress

10/27/2010
On September 12th, 2010, Lady Gaga (aka Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta) wore at the MTV Video Music Awards an ensemble of shoes, dress and hairpiece made of raw beef that was designed by Franc Fernandez (photo, left, from JustJared.buzznet.com). Out of all her costume changes that evening, the meat dress made audiences agog, repelled and angry. Lady Gaga is a self-proclaimed “fame monster.” In "Teeth," from her earlier “The Fame Monster,” she demands: "Take a bite of my bad girl meat." Bad. Girl. Meat. Fame. Monster. So many threatening, gendered, sexualized images here! Still, Lady Gaga’s music videos and costumes have historical contexts worth exploring.
Read more ...


UMP blog Q&A: Art history, Suzanne Lacy, and the 'spaces between'

2/3/2010
Almost twenty years ago (1991), during the first Gulf War, I was looking for a way to connect my art historical scholarship to my political concerns about violence and racism. (I felt pretty distant from my research in American architecture of the early twentieth century.) I had gone to the Women’s Caucus for Art meeting in NYC in 1990 and experienced a profound awakening of sorts, by seeing and hearing about a number of women artists who were using methods drawn from theatre and political protest to give visual form to their ideas, including Suzanne.
Read more ...