Lucy Lippard and Pussy Riot and Beyond

The Day My Dream Came True…

I sat in front of Lucy Lippard at the recent Pussy Riot event at SFUAD. I took about 400 pictures of her, told her she had majorly influenced my perspective on art, and then mentioned I covered her dialog with Seth Siegelaub as part of SITE’s Time Lapse exhibit for Ellen Berkovitch’s Adobe Airstream. Siegelaub died almost exactly one year after the event, emphasizing the time-ness of the exhibit and the interview between Lippard and Siegelaub, and giving a sense of real nostalgia to the conversation. 

I’ve sat behind Lippard at a few different press events, but I’ve been waiting for four years to meet her. It finally happened when someone said, “Lucy,” and we both turned and said, “Yes?” 

When I told her about the article, she said she’d read it. She did not hide her annoyance at my total fan-girl adoration. I did not care. I also did not expect her to check it out. 

Well, she did. 


When I was first considering moving to Santa Fe from Los Angeles, I saw that Lippard was a resident. She gave the commencement speech at my alma mater, Santa Fe University of Art and Design, the year before I moved out here. Her book Six Years: the Dematerialization of the Art Object, has shaped how I see the art world today and my own shift from making work exclusively for the gallery to work made for and distributed in the public sphere. When conceptual art emerged and started to take shape in the 60’s, artists like Siegelaub started making work in unconventional ways: work as a catalog, mailed instructions, and other non-object based conceptual work. Today, with so many millennial artists being underemployed, socially connected and further engaged in activism, I see a new movement, outside of the white cube, and into less elite and more accessible contexts through social practice, or, socially engaged art. From Occupy Wall Street to the practice of filming police brutality, “art” is falling out of the Art School’s ivory tower and into the hands of the community.

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