Myths of Rape , by Leslie Labowitz-Starus, Performed for Three Weeks in May, Suzanne Lacy, 1977
Performed for Lacy’s series Three Weeks in May.
Rape Map, by Suzanne Lacy, 1977
Part of Lacy’s project Three Weeks in May
Three Weeks in January, by Suzanne Lacy
Los Angeles Police Rape Map
Art Installation—drop by any time during the festival
Location: Los Angeles Police Department, 100 W. 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 Map
Three Weeks in January: Candlelight Ceremony
Friday, January 27, 2012, 7:00 p.m.
Details: 7:00 p.m. Candle-lighting, Map-viewing, Sound installation; 7:30 pm.m Performance in Deaton Auditorium
Admission: Free; no reservations required.
Location: Los Angeles Police Department, 100 W. 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 Map
Suzanne Lacy’s 1977 project Three Weeks in May had a forceful political imperative—to bring hidden experiences of rape to public attention. For this festival, Lacy will work with scores of collaborators to revisit formative aspects of the original work. She will consider where Los Angeles is now, 30 years into the anti-rape movement, and how we will end violence against women in the coming decades. The project includes the Los Angeles Rape Map, a series of Critical Conversations, and a Closing Candlelight Reception, in addition to scores of smaller events across the region.
***FRIDAY 27 JANUARY***
3:00-5:00pm Storying Rape: A Cross-Disciplinary Conversation at the Top of City Hall
Taking place high atop City Hall, this ninety-minute private conversation with nine civic and cultural leaders will focus on how the narrative of rape is shaped in our society and by whom; and ask how reframing this narrative might broaden public understanding and potentially reduce the incidence and/or harm from violence. This is a performance in the tradition of the art-life works of Los Angeles artists in the 1970s, where people enact themselves in an event that is both art and politics. More than twenty journalists will blog and tweet live on the conversation to their social media networks.
Link to join the conversation at: tinyurl.com/TWIJtweets
7:00 Candlelight Ceremony and Performance: Local Art and Global Activism, Los Angeles Police Department, 100 W. 1st St., Los Angeles 90012
This culminating event of Three Weeks in January features opportunities for private reflection and candle-lighting in memory of a person impacted by violence; connecting with participants from across the region who have contributed to the project. Join 200 activists to begin the local Los Angeles mobilization for the worldwide initiative, One Billion Women Rising. A participatory performance inside the auditorium, designed by Suzanne Lacy and members of her creative team, will feature audience participation in three “acts.”
7:00pm Candle-lighting, Map viewing, Sound installation
7:30pm Performance in Deaton Auditorium, Los Angeles Police Department
Project website: Learn more about the 30+ events organized across the LA metropolitan region athttp://www.threeweeksinjanuary.org/
The Myths of Rape”, a recreation of Leslie Labowitz’s performance
Updated over a year ago · Taken at Feminist Majority Confrence, Cal State Northrige, LA,CA
Three Weeks in January:
End RAPE in Los Angeles
A Recreation of the 1977 Performance
Three Weeks in May
By Suzanne Lacy
Suzanne Lacy, Three Weeks in May, 1977. Courtesy of Suzanne Lacy.
“Lacy’s epic civic event Three Weeks in May, stood at the forefront of a movement changing the way society viewed sexual violence” (Cara Baldwin, Art in America, 2007).
As part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival (January 19-29, 2012), LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions) presents Three Weeks In January, a new work by Suzanne Lacy with scores of Los Angeles-based partners. Recreating key aspects of Three Weeks in May (1977)—an art project exposing the true incidence of rape in Los Angeles – the work focuses on where Los Angeles is now, thirty years into the anti-rape movement, and how we will end violence against women in the coming decades.
The initial Three Weeks in May project had a forceful political imperative: to bring hidden experiences of gender-based violence to public attention. The project engaged the city and its politicians and media in an examination of how rape impacted Los Angeles women. In its time, it played a radical role in public exposure.
Now, over thirty years later, we can no longer say that rape is unspoken, nor that services and policies do not exist. Yet violence against women remains, locally and globally, with implications more pronounced than ever. This project will mobilize young women, men, and an intergenerational coalition across the region to consider next steps in an ever-increasingly necessary, and prominent, agenda against violence.
Three Weeks in January consists of a Los Angeles Rape Map – a large map, installed in Downtown Los Angeles, on which young women mark, each day, the prior day’s police reports; and Critical Conversations — region-wide, multi-vocal events that take place in January at the site of the maps and elsewhere by partnering organizations. As in the original artwork in 1977, we will use art as a platform to organize a series of events, consciousness-raising sessions, and presentations that collectively bring renewed focus and attention to the work to end rape.
Featured events include a mobilization of students at high schools, college campuses, and community organizations to host consciousness-raising conversations and to attend a Candlelight Ceremony on January 27, 2012 at the site of the maps; and Storying Violences – a performance of policy deliberation — by experts in rape prevention and education, legislative advocacy, criminal justice, the media, and direct service delivery.
For more information about the project and events, please visit www.threeweeksinjanuary.org
RECREATE A HISTORIC PERFORMANCE ARTWORK:
MYTHS OF RAPE
BY LESLIE LABOWITZ, 1977
Rape Myths — beliefs about sexual assault — are often completely untrue. Others are based on incorrect information that, applied to all cases and situations uncritically, create injurious policies and practices that harm women. Myths exist for many historic reasons, which include inherited structural conditions, gender role expectations, and the fundamental exercise of power in a patriarchal society.
Myths of Rape by Leslie Labowitz, was the first of a four-part series of performances designed to take place in public settings and to educate a broad audience about rape while breaking through cultural misconceptions and taboos. It is based on the political theatre ideas of Bertolt Brecht. The viewer is taken through various stages, from victimization to activism, as the performers enact each of the four performances. The performers are not acting but going through their own experiences while in action.
MYTH: RAPE DOESN’T HAPPEN VERY OFTEN.
FACT: Every 6 minutes, someone is person is raped in the United States. Every 2 minutes, someone is sexually assaulted.
MYTH: I DON’T KNOW ANYONE WHO’S EVER BEEN RAPED.
FACT: Rape victims are doctors, teachers, nurses, pastor’s wives, checkout clerks, accountants, engineers, or anyone. Most people know someone who has been raped. You may just not who it is.
MYTH: REAL RAPES ARE ONLY COMMITTED BY STRANGERS.
FACT: 80% of all rapes reported are acquaintance rapes where the victim knows their attacker.
MYTH: IF IT IS REALLY RAPE, THEN THE VICTIM WILL REPORT IT IMMEDIATELY.
FACT: Rape is the most underreported crime in the country. 84% of rape victims never report the crime at all.
MYTH: WOMEN FREQUENTLY CRY RAPE; FALSE REPORTING OF RAPE IS COMMON.
FACT: Only 2% of rape reports are given falsely. This is the same report rate for other felonies.
MYTH: RAPE IS AN IMPULSIVE, UNCONTROLLABLE ACT OF SEXUAL GRATIFICATION. MOST RAPES ARE SPONTANEOUS ACTS OF PASSION WHERE THE ASSAILANT CANNOT CONTROL HIM/HERSELF.
FACT: Rape is a premeditated act of violence, not a spontaneous act of passion. 71% of rapes are planned in advance. The vast majority of rapists are motivated by power, anger, and control, not sexual gratification.
MYTH: HUSBANDS CAN’T RAPE THEIR WIVES. IT IS HER DUTY.
FACT: As many as 14% of women have been raped by their husbands.
MYTH: RAPE ONLY HAPPENS TO WOMEN.
FACT: Men and children are also victims of rape.
Vol. 60 January 23, 2012 – Print the January 23, 2012 Issue
Myths of Rape (1977/2012) at the L.A. Art Show
By Diane Calder Mon, Jan 23, 2012
Rape is still the most underreported crime in the world. But Elana Mann, Audrey Chan, the 30 performers dedicated to “Myths of Rape” and their choreographer Mecca Vazie Andrews, deserve applause for actively encouraging individuals to join their wholehearted chorus of dissent.
Visitors stepping up to the bar at the entrance to L. A. Art Show’s gala opening, probably weren’t expecting to run into a young woman bearing a sign proclaiming, “MYTH: WE WERE DRUNK, SO IT WASN’T RAPE.” The performer, who had positioned herself where she would most likely have an impact, was one of a core of thirty men and women engaged in a re-examination of Leslie Labowitz-Starus and Suzanne Lacy’s late 70’s survey of rape in Los Angeles. Each member of the group carried a sign proclaiming a myth or fact about rape, blending performance with protest and activism in Elana Mann and Audrey Chan’s fresh interpretation of the earlier feminist response to social injustice.
An examination of excerpts from Lacy and Labowitz-Starus iconic work, (featured in the LACE booth at the L. A. Art Show), underscores changes Mann and Chan made to the original. Performers, both male and female, no longer wore uniform costumes or blindfolds, allowing them to interact more directly with audience members. Signs were held at body level rather than carried on high, directing attention to the body as the site where sexual violence takes place and the potential carrier of strength and change. New topics involving male victims as well as rape in prison and in the military were addressed. Viewers no longer were expected to keep their distance and remain mute. Instead they could elect to participate in a call-and-response element of the performance, a strategy inspired by Occupy Movement protesters.
Among the 30 myths examined in the revived performance were naïve statements such as “Rape statistics tell the full story,” or “I don’t know anyone who has been raped.” Actually, rape is still the most underreported crime in the world. But Elana Mann, Audrey Chan, the 30 performers dedicated to “Myths of Rape” and their choreographer Mecca Vazie Andrews, deserve applause for actively encouraging individuals to join their wholehearted chorus of dissent.
By Diane Calder
Artist & Writer
Myths of Rape (2012)
The LA Art Show opening night performance of Myths of Rape (2012) by artists Elana Mann and Audrey Chan, working with Leslie Labowitz-Starus and Suzanne Lacy, recreates a 1977 performance by Labowitz-Starus, originally performed as part of Three Weeks in May. The 2012 re-invention of Myths of Rape transforms the original piece to raise contemporary concerns around rape, sexual assault, and activism. Thirty diverse performers, including women and men, enact compelling tableaux and spatial interventions, wearing presentation boards featuring current myths and facts about rape. The performers enact a series of movements (created in collaboration with choreographer Mecca Vazie Andrews) that create both intimate moments and bold statements, which activate the site of the LA Convention Center. Drawing inspiration from traditions of feminist agit-prop, the Occupy Wall Street movement, and the Arab Spring, this performance reinforces how activism and performance art are as relevant today as in the past.
Myths of Rape (2012), performance by Audrey Chan and Elana Mann, a reinterpretation of Leslie Labowitz-Starus’ Myths of Rape (1977), part of Suzanne Lacy’s Three Weeks in May (1977). (Photos by Neda Moridpour)
The production was presented by Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) for Three Weeks in January(2012) as part of the Getty Pacific Standard Time Performance Festival. Thanks to Mecca Vazie Andrews and Sandra Mueller.
The performance took place at the opening night of the LA Art Show on January 18, 2012 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Adam Tinnell, Amitis Motevalli, Arielle Saturne, Audrey Ellis Fox, Audrey Wollen, Candace Kita, Cathy Salser, Christy Roberts, Marjan Vayghan, Justine de Penning, Katie Sinnott, Kim Cummings, Krista Jiannacopoulos, Launa Bacon, Leslie Dick, Lynn Fischer, Malene Dam, Michiko Yao, Miggie Wong, Nancy Richler, Niko Solorio, Paige Tighe, Rachel Finkelstein, John Martin, Sandra Mueller, Sandy Rodriguez, Stephen van Dyck, Tamarind Rossetti, Theresia Rosa Kleeman, Yael Samuel
Links to mOre on Myths of Rape:
for video : http://vimeo.com/50508200#at=0
Suzanne Lacy and the Otis MFA Public Practice Program has been a constant in my life since the program’s conception. From December 2011 – February 2012, I had the honor of participating in a series of creative events, Myths of Rape was one aspect of the three Weeks in January series.