Carolyn Lazard - Extended Stay
Carolyn Lazard was born in Upland, California in 1987 and currently lives in Philadelphia and New York. Their diverse artistic practice explores concepts of corporeality, perception, and participation in relation to institutionalised care, the healthcare system, and the capitalist social order. Lazard uses a wide variety of media, including performance, film, sculpture, photography, and installation. Carolyn Lazard’s art has already been shown in a number of international group and solo exhibitions, including shows at the MMK in Frankfurt am Main, the Kunstverein Braunschweig, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin, and the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, as well as at the 59th Biennale di Venezia and the Whitney Biennial of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.
Carolyn Lazard’s Extended Stay consists of an articulating medical arm mount that extends from the wall into the space. Attached to its end is a monitor, on which German television is played. The programme in real time changes every ninety seconds between public and private channels. Viewers are invited to take a seat on the bench in front of the personal hospital monitor, thus adopting the perspective of a patient.
The practice of television viewing connects diverse groups of people and contexts of reception – Lazard is particularly interested in spectatorship as a varied and contextual experience. These monitors are usually found in chemotherapeutic suites or places where medication is administered intravenously. In contrast to the media spectatorship engaged in galleries and museums, Extended Stay invokes an experience with media that is slow and durational. The television functions as a timekeeping device, something to pass the time while waiting.
Lazard graduated with a BA in film and anthropology from Bard College, New York, where they developed an interest in the history of experimental film. Non-narrative films that operate against a progressive logic reflect the complex relationship between debility and temporality. The work also evokes the mundane aspects of care and care labor that stand in strong contrast to the stereotypical melodramatic portrayals of hospital events in many television programmes. As a counter-design to this, Extended Stay focuses on the quotidien aspects of illness and medicalization.
Carolyn Lazard’ engages accessibility as praxis and politic. Their practice addresses the infrastructure of healthcare and the entanglement of illness and labor under capitalism. At the same time, Lazard highlights the orthodoxies and limitations of art institutions that increasingly claim to be socially accessible and diverse.