Suzy Lake — On Stage

Exhibition

New media, performance, photography

Suzy Lake
On Stage

Ends in 22 days: October 14 → December 23, 2022

This fall, mfc-michèle didier is pleased to present a solo exhibition of the American-Canadian artist Suzy Lake.

Bringing together historical works from the 70s and 80s, as well as more recent works, this exhibition will attest to the growing critical and institutional attention paid to the artist’s work, such as MoMA, the Metropolitan, Sammlung Verbund or the CNAP, which recently acquired an important work entitled Imitation of Myself #2.

Socially and politically engaged, Suzy Lake’s work questions an identity in doubt, confronting it with the stereotypes of feminine/iste consubstantiality, but also with its relationship to the world. Bringing together a selection of masterpieces, most of which have never been shown in Europe, this exhibition will put into perspective a radical and sensitive body of works produced over nearly fifty years.

Born Suzanne Marx in 1947 in Detroit, USA, Suzy Lake emigrated to Canada in 1968. It was in a political climate that followed the violent racial riots of 1967 in Detroit — also known as the 12th Street riot — the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968, and in the very particular context of the Vietnam War, which led many American citizens to flee the United States to escape general army mobilization, that Suzy Lake left her native country. From 1970 onwar- ds, she took part in the Montreal art scene, notably as co-founder of the Artist Run Space Véhicule Art Inc. with guest artists such as Sol Lewitt, Alison Knowles, Les Levine, General Idea, Marina Abramovic, Vito Acconci and Bill Viola. She then produced her first works, whose influence and radicalism were to be decisive for many artists such as Cindy Sherman.

Suzy Lake initially developed a work oriented towards performance rooted into political ac- tivism and militant feminism. Her work questions the representation and perception of the self as a free and responsible being, through photographic sequences and films. The photo- graphic medium is effectively used for its documentary but also critical capacity, confronted with the popular, advertising and commercial imagery then in full rise in North American society.

«Transform the world», said Marx. «Change life», said Rimbaud. These two watchwords seem to be one and the same for Suzy Lake.

Her works are in the collections of MoMA (NY), Metropolitan Museum of Art (NY), Albright Knox Gallery (Buffalo), National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), Sammlung Verbund (Vienna), Cnap (Paris).

The exhibition is supported by The Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris.