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Friday 03.02.07

« First Friday March 2007 Picks | Main | 3 events to Rock You Like a Hurricane »

Skip to my Liza Lou on Saturday at Reed

Saturday March 3rd 3-5PM

3203 SE Woodstock Blvd at Reed's Eliot Chapel

As part of Reed's Art Week, the beadtastic Liza Lou will be speaking. At the forefront of the massive resurgence in craft as an awe inducing contemporary art experience one would have to consider Lou in any serious discussion of the genre. So the basic question should be, "is her work just a series of entertaining grotesques that use craft as shield or something more?" $5 or Reed ID

Maybe someone dressed as Lewis or Clark should try to pay in beads?

Posted by Jeff Jahn on March 02, 2007 at 11:27 | Comments (2)


As one of a mere handful of people who attended the talk and video by Liza Lou, I have to say what many missed was a deeply moving and personal experience. I can’t say I expected much from the announcement on PORT because I hadn’t heard of her before reading that post.

Liza began by showing slides of her first bead project. This was a full scale kitchen where every surface and every object was covered with beads. Then she started the video as the first part of her explanation for her unusual choice of medium. The video was simply her doing a roughly 25 minute monologue which was filmed in one take; truly extraordinary piece of theater by itself.

The monologue was a startling account of her early childhood and memories of her parents. She was born in New York and her mother was a working theater actor who was connected with the art scene and lived in the same building as Roy Lichtenstein. She knew the artist well enough that she owned several of his pieces that Roy had given her. She had been in Warhol’s Factory and knew many well known artists who lived in Manhattan at the time.

She told of how her parents found religion and were chastised by a church member for being in league with the devil by owning and displaying artwork. All the art was taken down, torn to pieces, and burned. Then, with a few essential belongings the family fled Manhattan for a simpler life of devotion in Minnesota.

Then came her father’s alcoholism, marital strife, and abuse of herself, her mother and her little sister who was affectionately nick-named “kissy face”; the All-American family experience (or gothic nightmare).

After the video Liza told about her first project, the full-sized beaded kitchen. She thought it was going to take six months, but it actually became the dominate focus of her life for five years. She very deliberately chose beads because “it is probably the most unloved of all media”.

With that one comment she drew a clear line of connection between her childhood history and her choices as an artist. It is her intent in covering surfaces with the glittery flash of beads to change our view of discarded and unloved things. The worthless becomes precious and the ugly becomes beautiful.

Duane Snider

Posted by: Duane [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 8, 2007 10:27 PM

Awesome recap D

She's a Macarthur genius grant winner as well.

Portand has so many great lectures (too many to actually attend) and I wish more would provide recaps like this.

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 9, 2007 09:46 AM

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