Carolyn Lazard (b. 1987, Penn MFA ’19) works across mediums to consider the aesthetic and material dimensions of dependency, care, and access. Lazard’s work considers care as a collective, rather than individual, concern, shifting our assumptions of accessibility or how we come together.
Long Take, the artist’s debut solo exhibition in Philadelphia, attends to the legacy of “dance for camera,” a form of choreography for film and video that emerged in the 1960s. This experimental artistic tradition questioned not only where a performance occurs but also how an audience might experience it. Critically, Long Take affirms access and accessibility as indivisible from dance for camera’s concern for experience. In replacing the camera with microphones, Long Take creates a sensorial blur of sound, vibration, breath, touch, and memory that doesn’t replace the visual but questions sight as a primary means of aesthetic experience.
Lazard’s exhibition is anchored by an artwork titled Leans, Reverses (2022), made with dancer and writer Jerron Herman and poet and artist Joselia Rebekah Hughes. Leans, Reverses begins with a dance score or series of choreographic notations to which Lazard, Herman, and Hughes elaborate and improvise movement, captions, and audio description. Audio description is a form of narration that describes the visual elements of an event, a performance, or a movie for blind and low-vision audiences.
More broadly, Long Take continues Lazard’s ongoing experimentation with methodologies of access––methodologies which their artistic practice affirms are foundational not only to art but, most importantly, to social life. Lazard encourages us to think about the often-unseen networks of care, labor, and friendship that make collaborative endeavors possible, whether it be the making of an artwork, an exhibition, or dinner. A stage, a studio, a recessed chamber, a place to sit, a darkened room, –Long Take’s spatial offering is collective.
A text-based description of the gallery experience will be available online in both text and digital braille formats.
Carolyn Lazard: Long Take is co-commissioned by Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania; the Walker Art Center; and Nottingham Contemporary.
The exhibition is curated by Meg Onli, Curator; Pavel Pyś, Curator, Visual Arts, Walker Art Center; and Olivia Aherne, Curator, Exhibitions, Nottingham Contemporary.
Additional support has been provided by Linda & Jeffrey Chodorow, Cheri & Steven Friedman, Marjorie & Michael Levine, B.Z. & Michael Schwartz, Patricia & Howard Silverstein, and Dorothy & Stephen Weber.
Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, UK: February 11–May 7, 2023
Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia: March 10–July 9, 2023