Unpresidented Times: Suzanne Lacy and Andrea Bowers

Suzanne Lacy and Andrea Bowers, Performance Lessons: Suzanne Lacy Teaches Andrea Bowers Performance Art, 2016, powdered graphite, acrylic markers. Installation view, Beta Main, Los Angeles, 2016. Photo: Robert Wedemeyer.

WE ENTERED THIS PROJECT TOGETHER to explore the aesthetic and political implications of our personal relationship. The work frames the transfer of knowledge between women as an act of resistance. Two women, two generations: Our lives and work are shaped by an unwavering commitment to justice, which encompasses not only women, but all those oppressed by the powerful. The mythologies underlying misogyny were in full evidence in the months and days leading up to the historic election on November 8, 2016, and in the subsequent results. This project embodies some ideas of performance art as developed in downtown Los Angeles during the socially turbulent 1970s, where identity, body, and politics mixed. Among many who attended our conversations, we discovered a desire for community that celebrates intergenerational relationships between women as a political necessity. In this moment of peril for our country, we are committed to relationships that honor differences and build alliances. Art has never been more urgent because our liberation is bound together.

Suzanne Lacy is an artist, activist, writer, and educator based in Los Angeles.

Andrea Bowers is an artist, activist, and educator based in Los Angeles.