A Recreation of the 1977 Performance Three Weeks in May
“Lacy’s epic civic event Three Weeks in May stood at the forefront of a movement changing the way society viewed sexual violence.” (Cara Baldwin, 2007)
As part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival (January 19-29, 2012), LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions) presents Three Weeks In January, a new work by Suzanne Lacy with scores of Los Angeles-based partners. Recreating key aspects of Three Weeks in May (1977)—an art project exposing the true incidence of rape in Los Angeles – the work focuses on where Los Angeles is now, thirty years into the anti-rape movement, and how we will end violence against women in the coming decades.
The initial Three Weeks in May project had a forceful political imperative: to bring hidden experiences of gender-based violence to public attention. The project engaged the city and its politicians and media in an examination of how rape impacted Los Angeles women. In its time, it played a radical role in public exposure.
Now, over thirty years later, we can no longer say that rape is unspoken, nor that services and policies do not exist. Yet violence against women remains, locally and globally, with implications more pronounced than ever. This project will mobilize young women, men, and an inter-generational coalition across the region to consider next steps in an ever-increasingly necessary, and prominent, agenda against violence.
Three Weeks in January consists of a Los Angeles Rape Map – a large map, installed in Downtown Los Angeles, on which young women mark, each day, the prior day’s police reports, as well as Critical Conversations — region-wide, multi-vocal events that take place in January at the site of the maps and elsewhere by partnering organizations. As in the original artwork in 1977, we will use art as a platform to organize a series of events, consciousness-raising sessions, and presentations that collectively bring renewed focus and attention to the work to end rape.
Featured events include a mobilization of students at high schools, college campuses, and community organizations to host consciousness-raising conversations and to attend a Candlelight Ceremony on January 27, 2012 at the site of the maps; and Storying Violences – a performance of policy deliberation — by experts in rape prevention and education, legislative advocacy, criminal justice, the media, and direct service delivery.
Co-presented with the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the Rape Treatment Center, and Otis College of Art and Design.