New York

Suzy Lake, Choreogrpahed Puppet #4, 1976/2007, C-print, 41 5⁄8 × 44 1⁄2".

Suzy Lake, Choreogrpahed Puppet #4, 1976/2007, C-print, 41 5⁄8 × 44 1⁄2".

Suzy Lake

Arsenal Contemporary Art | New York

One of the first things Suzy Lake did after moving to Montreal in 1968 from her native Detroit—a city whose fiery upheavals had recently jolted her into political consciousness—was enroll in mime school at the Théâtre de Quat’Sous. Miming proved a formative education for Lake, who learned to manage both the dramas of various personae and, one supposes, the constraints of muteness inherent in a photographic subject. Crucially, the course also tutored her in the eradicative powers of whiteface, adopted throughout her practice as a “point of nothing.” From there, she embarked on her conceptually driven, camera-based output, which for nearly five decades has undone the rudiments of identity and representation via her most prevailing, multifarious subject: herself and, by extension, selfhood—its ductility and confinements, its clinging mystiques.

Visitors to “Performance of Protest,” Lake’s

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