This generously illustrated book sheds light on the groundbreaking career of Suzanne Lacy, an artist, writer, and educator whose participatory, socially engaged performances helped define social practice art and continue to resonate with many of the most pressing issues in American culture.
Over the past five decades the genre-defying art of Suzanne Lacy has taken multiple forms, spanning performance, sculpture and video installations, and photography. Organizing public encounters that emphasize intensive community dialogue and collaborative choreography, Lacy has explored many political and social contexts that remain deeply relevant--including race, class, and gender equity; ageism; and violence against women. This record of Lacy's career is anchored by an extensively illustrated survey of selected works that groups related projects and illuminates their core themes and approaches. Featuring photographs, stills, ephemera, and other primary documentation, this section incorporates a selection of reprinted texts and newly commissioned first-person accounts by Lacy's collaborators, a group that includes critics and artists such as Judy Chicago, Allan Kaprow, Andrea Bowers, Moira Roth, and Lucy Lippard. Extensive, penetrating, and visually compelling, this long-awaited monograph documents the bold career of an artist whose profound attentiveness to social dynamics, politics, and context continues to provoke and inspire today. Copublished by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and DelMonico Books
About the Author
RUDOLF FRIELING is Curator of Media Arts at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
LUCÍA SANROMÁN is Director of Visual Arts at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) in San Francisco.
DOMINIC WILLSDON is Leanne and George Roberts Curator of Education and Public Practice at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
“Putting together a retrospective of the author’s abundant output is a daunting task, as the remnants from her numerous pieces—images, text, her own critical writing—often fail to capture the breadth and depth of what transpired. The sweeping catalogue accompanying the two-part show at SFMoMA and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is a complement to that difficult labor. Edited by the curators, it also features their essays and nearly two hundred pages for an illustrated survey with some four-hundred archival images from eighty-four works, all broken down into seven categories. But my favorite part comes near the end, with a long list of Lacy’s consciousness-raising “collaborators, participants and associates.” They too believe in the power of words, and images, to change culture. —LAUREN O’NEILL-BUTLER, April/May 2019 issue of BOOKFORUM
"Suzanne Lacy: We Are Here provides a rich introduction to Lacy’s practice...It cements her position as a key protagonist of feminist, performance, and social practice art of recent decades, but also insists on the continuing relevance of her collaborative methodology, performative tactics, and carefully orchestrated socio-political and aesthetic strategies...It appeals to readers who, like myself, have a long-standing interest in the artist’s work but were unable to travel to visit the exhibition, as well as to new and future “audiences of myth and memory” (in Lacy’s own words) who may be experiencing these ephemeral works through the catalogue’s pages for the very first time, long after they have ceased to exist. The book “makes history” in this way by renouncing chronology in favor of a thematic organization which highlights the recurring strategies and techniques of Lacy’s collaborative approach to both art and social policy since the 1970s." —The Brooklyn Rail