The LA Art Show’s opening night greeted art goers with quite a surprise: many people behind signs, who would pass you very slowly, occasionally yelling out statistics about rape. If you have not been keeping up with current conversation in the LA art world, you would have no idea that the people walking around are performers participating in Suzanne Lacy’s Pacific Standard Time and LACE affiliated Three Weeks In January, a recreation of her late seventies Los Angeles performance that challenged our ideas of rape in Los Angeles.
The performance was slightly jarring, as you can expect from reading about it, but it was mostly surprising because it was so entrenched in environment. The performers seemed to crowd tables where people were grabbing drinks and would swell like a Greek chorus at moments to chant rape myths, which they would quickly debunk with a fact. Check out the video below to see what we are talking about.
As you can see, the signs they carried around, when closed, were white with block letters containing a myth. When opened, they displayed the fact, over a gradient of tricolors (akin to Colby Printing’s now famous poster technique, among others). The result was remarkable and was one of the only–if the only–performance art pieces to take place at the show. And, honestly, it was funny to see older art goers trying to pass through these performers to get a cocktail, a lot of times as the performers spouted facts about the link between alcohol and rape.
Three Weeks In January was great to see at the LA Art Show along with the accompanying LA Rape Map at the LACE booth. For more, you can check out this Friday’s Storying Violence, where Suzanne will hold a private conversation at City Hall on LA’s rape narrative. Moreover, there will be a Candlelight Ceremony Friday as well at the LAPD Downtown. You can read about all the events here.