Suzanne Lacy is a pioneer of socially engaged art and public practice, promoting dialogue and collaborations with communities — artists, activists, organizations, schools — throughout her prolific career. Since the 1970s, she has used community organizing strategies and media interventions to galvanize discussions about pressing social issues including feminism, violence against women, racism, and labor rights. These projects often culminate in large-scale, highly choreographed performances that bring together diverse groups of participants to share their stories.
Co-organized by SFMOMA and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA), Suzanne Lacy: We Are Here is the first full retrospective of the Los Angeles–based artist. At SFMOMA, visitors can explore Lacy’s entire career, from her earliest feminist work to her latest immersive video installations. Several projects on view honor the voices and contributions of women to public life. The YBCA presentation offers a new, experimental approach to authorship and participation, revisiting key collaborative projects through the lens of today. This includes an in-depth focus on The Oakland Projects (1991–2001), a series on youth empowerment, media education, and policy. Visitors can also engage with works by contemporary Bay Area artists, and youth arts and activist organizations. Both venues will host live activations in the galleries and a vibrant range of public programs.
Suzanne Lacy: We Are Here is co-organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA).
The exhibition is co-curated by Rudolf Frieling (Curator of Media Arts, SFMOMA), Lucía Sanromán (Director, Laboratorio Arte Alameda, Mexico City, and Curator at Large, YBCA), and Dominic Willsdon (former Leanne and George Roberts Curator of Education and Public Practice, SFMOMA; now Director, Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond), with the assistance of Christa Cesario (Community Organizing Manager, YBCA) and Tanya Zimbardo (Assistant Curator of Media Arts, SFMOMA).
At SFMOMA, major support is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
Generous support is provided by Lionel F. Conacher and Joan T. Dea and Susan Swig.
This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
The YBCA presentation is made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Circle of Advisors for Changing the Ratio: Female Artists at YBCA.
Header image: Suzanne Lacy, Filming The Circle and the Square, 2017 (excerpt); courtesy the artist; © Suzanne Lacy