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Revisiting Suzanne Lacy's Oakland Projects

Revisiting Suzanne Lacy's Oakland Projects Revisiting Suzanne Lacy’s Oakland Projects Nicholas Gamso Suzanne Lacy: We Are Here, a retrospective at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, April 20, 2019– August 4, 2019. alking into the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco last summer, I encountered a video, transmitted onto a dozen flat projec - W tion screens, of Oakland in 1994. The screens showed hundreds of teenagers sitting in cars, doors open and windows down, on a rooftop garage at the downtown City Center complex. The teens, mostly students at Oakland Technical High School, have lively conversations about a range of topics: race, rep- resentation, sexuality, and gender. Hanging around them are countless spectators, government officials, and project volunteers. One teenager tells the camera, “we are people who can think, who are human beings too, who are very intellectual and articulate, and who can tell you about problems beyond negative stereotypes.” This site-specific live event, The Roof Is on Fire , was the most immediately relevant section of the museum’s retrospective on California-based activist, documen- tarian, performance artist, and educator Suzanne Lacy (a joint venture with SFMoMA). The Roof Is on Fire was http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art MIT Press

Revisiting Suzanne Lacy's Oakland Projects

PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art , Volume 42 (3): 6 – Sep 1, 2020

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Publisher
MIT Press
Copyright
Copyright © MIT Press
ISSN
1520-281X
eISSN
1537-9477
DOI
10.1162/pajj_a_00524
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Revisiting Suzanne Lacy’s Oakland Projects Nicholas Gamso Suzanne Lacy: We Are Here, a retrospective at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, April 20, 2019– August 4, 2019. alking into the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco last summer, I encountered a video, transmitted onto a dozen flat projec - W tion screens, of Oakland in 1994. The screens showed hundreds of teenagers sitting in cars, doors open and windows down, on a rooftop garage at the downtown City Center complex. The teens, mostly students at Oakland Technical High School, have lively conversations about a range of topics: race, rep- resentation, sexuality, and gender. Hanging around them are countless spectators, government officials, and project volunteers. One teenager tells the camera, “we are people who can think, who are human beings too, who are very intellectual and articulate, and who can tell you about problems beyond negative stereotypes.” This site-specific live event, The Roof Is on Fire , was the most immediately relevant section of the museum’s retrospective on California-based activist, documen- tarian, performance artist, and educator Suzanne Lacy (a joint venture with SFMoMA). The Roof Is on Fire was

Journal

PAJ: A Journal of Performance and ArtMIT Press

Published: Sep 1, 2020

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