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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.” –The New York Times
Visual artist Suzanne Bocanegra uses theater to interrogate the history and practice of visual art. Part performance, part memoir, and part gleefully rambling cultural essay, her “Artist Performance Lectures” are intensely personal, exhaustively researched, and kaleidoscopically wide-ranging, exploring not only how and why she became an artist, but also general meditations on art-making, history, popular culture and our shifting ideals of human beauty.
The third lecture in a four-part series taking the stage at NYU Skirball this season, Bodycast is inspired by the two teenage years Bocanegra spent in a body cast due to scoliosis. Exploring topics as disparate as Roman art, Rose Queens, and Texas drill teams, Bodycast mines specific details of Bocanegra’s life to create a more general meditation on art-making and shifting ideals of feminine beauty.
Starring Ruth Negga (Oscar, Golden Globe, and Tony nominee) and directed by Paul Lazar.
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. https://suzannebocanegra.com
Ruth Negga (Performer) was nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for her starring role in the film Loving and starred in the film Passing. Her television credits include AMC’s Preacher. Her upcoming projects include David E. Kelley’s Apple TV+ limited series, Presumed Innocent, opposite Jake Gyllenhaal, and Dan Levy’s film Good Grief. In 2022, Ruth made her Broadway debut in Macbeth as Lady Macbeth, earning a Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play. Ruth was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and was raised between there, Limerick, Ireland, and London, England.
Paul Lazar (Director) is a founding member, along with Annie-B Parson, of Big Dance Theater. He has
co-directed and acted in works for Big Dance since 1991, including commissions from the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Walker Art Center, Dance Theater Workshop, Classic Stage Company and Japan Society. Paul’s one person performance, Cage Shuffle, premiered at the American Realness Festival in 2017 and continues to tour the U.S. and Europe. He has acted in over 40 feature films, including Snowpiercer, The Host, Mickey Blue Eyes, Silence of the Lambs, Beloved, Lorenzo’s Oil and Philadelphia. Stage credits include Macbeth on Broadway, and off Broadway in Tamburlaine at Theatre For A New Audience, Young Jean Lee’s Lear, The Three Sisters at Classic Stage Company, Richard Maxwell’s Cowboys and Indians at Soho Rep, Irene Fornes’ Mud at the Signature Theater and Mabou Mines, and Mac Wellman’s 1965 UU at the Chocolate Factory Theatre. Paul has performed with The Wooster Group, acting in Brace Up!, Emperor Jones, The Hairy Ape and North Atlantic. He is the winner of two Bessie Awards, 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.