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“Suzanne Bocanegra’s art is an antidote to the history-free, prepackaged world that threatens every day to overwhelm us. Her work is also beautiful.” – The New Yorker

“An illuminating theatrical portrait of the mind of an artist at work.” –New York Times

A lecture? A performance? An idiosyncratic conjoining of both? Visual artist Suzanne Bocanegra uses theater to interrogate the history and practice of the visual arts. Part performance, part memoir, and part gleefully rambling cultural essay, her “Artist Performance Lectures” are intensely personal, exhaustively researched, and kaleidoscopically wide-ranging. With the assistance of a series of mirthful “guests,” she explains the hows and whys of being an artist, while offering elucidating meditations on art-making, history, popular culture and our shifting ideals of human beauty.

Honor, starring Lili Taylor and directed by Geoff Sobelle, is based on a 16th-century tapestry at the Metropolitan Museum of Art titled “Honor,” which depicts 69 historical and allegorical figures who offer personal stories as moral lessons in honor and in dishonor.  Bocanegra’s very close reading of the tapestry leads her to weave together such diverse topics as Carole King’s Tapestry album, tableau vivant, the founding of the Girl Scouts of America, Anni Albers, the Monkees, and the history of theater.

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Lili Taylor (Performer) has been working on stage and screen for thirty years.  She has appeared in dozens of films including Mystic Pizza, Say Anything…, Dogfight, Short Cuts, Household Saints, Factotum, I Shot Andy Warhol, The Notorious Bettie Page, Ransom, and The Haunting. In television she has starred in Six Feet Under, Almost Human, Outer Range and American Crime, for which she earned an Emmy nomination. Taylor has appeared on stage in Broadway and Off-Broadway productions including Three Sisters (Roundabout), Mourning Becomes Electra (Acorn Theater), and The Library (Public Theater).

Suzanne Bocanegra (Author) is a visual artist who uses theater and theater craft to interrogate the history and practice of visual art, employing large-scale video, performance and installation, as well as collage, sculpture and painting. She is the recipient of the 2020 Robert Rauschenberg Award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts and a 2020 Guggenheim Fellowship, among other awards. In 2019, a major show of Bocanegra’s work titled “Poorly Watched Girls” was presented at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia. Also in 2019, her solo show “Wardrobe Test” was the inaugural exhibition at Artcake, an exhibition space in Brooklyn. Bocanegra’s most recent performance “Honor, an Artist Lecture by Suzanne Bocanegra starring Lili Taylor,” was commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and has traveled to LAMoCA, ICABoston and the Walker Art Center.

Previous performances have been commissioned and/or presented by the Museum of Modern Art, The Next Wave Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance at the Ace Theater, the Wexner Center for the Arts, the Hammer Museum, and the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, among others. Bocanegra’s work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Guggenheim Museum (New York), the Museum of Fine Arts (Houston) and the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), among others.


NYU Skirball’s programs are made possible in part with support from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature; and by Howard Gilman Foundation; FUSED (French U.S. Exchange in Dance), a program of FACE Foundation in partnership with Villa Albertine; General Delegation of the Government of Flanders to the USA; Collins Building Services; Korean Cultural Center New York, Marta Heflin Foundation; Harkness Foundation for Dance; as well as our valued donors through memberships, commissioning, and Stage Pass Fund support.

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Metropolitan Museum of Art