DALLAS, Texas (May 6, 2022)—The Nasher Sculpture Center announces Nasher Public: Liss LaFleur, on view May 7 - July 17, 2022, in the Nasher Public Gallery. Liss LaFleur is an American artist, educator, and activist whose interdisciplinary arts-based research, production, and experimentation explores queer identity and the future of feminism.
Titled The Queer Birth Project, LaFleur's Nasher installation expands on Judy Chicago's 1980-85 project The Birth Project that posed questions of childbirth to women and culminated in more than 150 artworks that celebrated various aspects of the birthing process in the form of paintings that incorporated needlework. LaFleur's project explores birthing experiences of queer people in America and through a critical intersectional lens, presents a contemporary feminist art practice that progresses toward a more inclusive future.
Her Nasher Public installation is the artist's first iteration of The Queer Birth Project and will include a large-scale, golden yellow fringe sculpture, neon sculptures referencing the body's progression in pregnancy, and a sound element. The fringe sculpture references the visual history of the hanging mobile as both a modernist form but also a domesticated object. Using fringe, the artist highlights its playful quality as one that viewers' can engage with by passing through/under, but also references how LGBTQ+ people have historically been described as "living on the fringes of society."
In her proposal for Nasher Public, LaFleur wrote about the importance of this project on a personal, but also universal level:
Representation and inclusion around birth and family building plays a significant role in expanding cultural ideas, ensuring access to healthcare, and building community. Yet representations of childbirth in western art and culture have long excluded the lives of lesbian women and non-conforming bodies. From DIY to IVF, scholarly and artistic attention to queer (LGBTQ+) childbirth and same-sex parenting is still relatively new, and there are unique physical, emotional, legal, and psychological challenges that are imposed by mainstream society. The way we talk about birth and parenting can be deeply alienating, and through this work I hope to help educate, inspire, and empower a new generation.
About Liss LaFleur
LaFleur has exhibited, screened, and lectured internationally including at the TATE (London), the Reykjavik Art Museum (Iceland), SXSW (Austin, TX), Contemporary Art Museum (Houston, TX), Hermes Arts Center (Brazil), Telematic Media Arts (San Francisco, CA), Museum of Glass (Seattle, WA), and the Czong Institute for Contemporary Art (South Korea). She is the recipient of a Citizen Artist Fellowship with the John F. Kennedy Center, an Immersive Scholar Grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and earned her MFA as a Media Art Fellow at Emerson College in Boston, MA. She is an Associate Professor of New Media Art at the University of North Texas.
About Nasher Public
Nasher Public is an ongoing, two-pronged public art initiative which aims to generate access to public art by North Texas artists at the Nasher and throughout the greater Dallas community. The project launched first at the Nasher in a newly formed gallery, presenting monthly exhibitions, followed by an ongoing series of offsite exhibitions in partnership with area businesses.