Carolyn Lazard: Long Take

Carolyn Lazard: Long Take

Walker Art Center

Carolyn Lazard, Leans, Reverses (still), 2022. Three-channel digital video (black and white, sound), 18 minutes. Co-commissioned by the Walker Art Center, Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at the University of Philadelphia, and Nottingham Contemporary. Courtesy of the artist and Maxwell Graham/Essex Street, New York.

February 10, 2022
Carolyn Lazard: Long Take
February 12–December 11, 2022
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The Walker Art Center presents the first US solo museum presentation of the work of New York/Philadelphia–based artist and writer Carolyn Lazard (US, b. 1987).

Working across disciplines and mediums, Lazard explores the political and aesthetic dimensions of care and dependency. Their practice centers disability as a site of abundance and collectivity, questioning dominant ways of art-making and working that value efficiency and ability over life itself.

For their Walker exhibition the artist presents Long Take, a newly conceived installation that responds to the legacy of dance for the camera, considered through the lens of accessibility as a creative tool. Long Take is anchored by a sound installation made of a recorded reading of a dance score, the sound of a dancer’s movement and breath, and an audio description. Lazard gave the original dance score to their collaborator, dancer and choreographer Jerron Herman, and filmed his performance. The recording was then audio described in collaboration with poet and artist Joselia Hughes.

The exhibition is experienced within a gallery completely covered with vinyl flooring mats, like those typically found in dance studios. Within the space are three standard Walker gallery benches, which Lazard has altered with cushioning, backrests, and height adjustments. In doing so, the seating becomes more suitable for longer stays and more welcoming for visitors with varying access needs. Following the exhibition’s opening, a text-based description of the gallery experience will be available in both text and digital braille formats.

Long Take intentionally blurs the boundaries between instruction, description, and translation, asking us to consider where and in what form an artwork resides. By presenting this dance work sonically rather than visually, Lazard considers how a performance might be communicated beyond its image and questions why visuality has been the default vehicle for aesthetic experience. Using text and sound rather than moving image, Lazard encourages us to think about ways that artworks are made accessible as well as the often-unseen networks of care, labor, and friendship that make collaborative endeavors possible.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Lazard’s sound installation A Conspiracy (2017) will be presented in the entrance corridor to the museum. A new addition to the Walker’s collection, the work consists of a grid of white noise machines typically used to generate a sense of privacy within a hospital or therapist’s office.

Curators: Pavel Pyś, Curator, Visual Arts, Walker Art Center; Meg Onli, Director and Curator, The Underground Museum (former ICA Andrea B. Laporte Associate Curator); and Olivia Aherne, Curator, Exhibitions, Nottingham Contemporary.

About the artist
Carolyn Lazard is a Philadelphia and New York–based artist working across video, sound, sculpture, and performance. Lazard has participated in exhibitions at several institutions including the Walker Art Center, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, MIT List Visual Arts Center, Palais de Tokyo, Museum für Moderne Kunst, and the New Museum. Lazard was included in the 2019 Whitney Biennial and is a recipient of the 2021 United States Artist Fellowship. Their writing has been published in the Brooklyn RailMousse Magazine, and Triple Canopy. In 2019, Lazard published Accessibility in the Arts: A Promise and a Practice, an open-source accessibility guide for small-scale arts organizations. 

Related events
Virtual Opening-Day Talk: Carolyn Lazard
Saturday, February 12, 1 pm CT, Free

Join Carolyn Lazard and exhibition curator Pavel Pyś for a conversation about the exhibition and Lazard’s artistic and writing practices. This talk will be held virtually only via Zoom. Please register here. The online performance will be audio described. This program will have ASL interpretation, captioning, and audio description.

Acknowledgments
Carolyn Lazard: Long Take is co-commissioned by the Walker Art Center; the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania; and Nottingham Contemporary. Support for the Walker’s presentation is provided by Aradhna and Kunal Patra, and the Poncher Foundation.

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February 10, 2022

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