Performing an Archive
21 x 16 cm | 8 x 6.5 in
60 ills | 64 pages
Editor France Choinière
Our second book with Canadian artist Suzy Lake presents her recent series exploring the concept of self in both the portrait and artistic practice more generally, as well as ideas of ancestry, nostalgia and memory.
In Suzy Lake: Performing an Archive, Lake, an essential figure in Canadian contemporary art with an international reputation, continues her exploration of questions around identity and social issues. Drawing on history and her own family chronicle , Lake bears witness to the urban, demographic and social development of Detroit, a city marked throughout the twentieth century by economic decline, racial tension and a startling crime rate. In a performative process, she visits the scene of various locations where her ancestors lived.
Born in Detroit, USA, Suzy Lake has lived in Canada since the late 1960s, where she widely contributed to the emergence of conceptual and feminist art. She was one of the first artists in Canada to use performance, video and photography to explore questions of gender, the body and identity. Her work has been shown in numerous major exhibitions, including WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, 2007; Suzy Lake: Political Poetics at the University of Toronto Art Centre and the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, 2011; and Traffic: Conceptual Art in Canada 1965–1980 at the Art Gallery of Alberta, the Justina M Barnicke Gallery at University of Toronto and the Vancouver Art Gallery, 2012. In 2014, the Art Gallery of Ontario mounted a major retrospective of her work, Introducing Suzy Lake. She has been a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts since 2004.