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Suzanne Lacy, Maps, 1973. Performance view, CalArts, Valencia, CA, 1973. Photo: Suzanne Lacy.

IN 1973, while still in graduate school, Suzanne Lacy organized an elaborate happening. Titled Maps, the piece instructed fellow students to travel to points across Los Angeles’s Southland—from campus to a mental-health hospital to a meatpacking factory—carrying butcher-paper-wrapped lamb’s organs, and to reassemble the entrails into approximate anatomical order at the final stop. The performance was quietly provocative, otherworldly. The following year, she partnered with a lawyer to prepare another, similarly visceral work. That piece, titled Body Contract, 1974, took the form of a fourteen-page legal document that outlines the terms of sale of body parts and organs between the artist, as seller, and an unnamed potential buyer, in accordance with California’s organ-donation laws; it included a lengthy addendum speculating on the tax implications for applying property concepts

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