Published by Steidl/Scotiabank. Text by Helena Reckitt.
This book presents Detroit-born, Toronto-based artist Suzy Lake’s (born 1947) bold explorations of gender and identity. Along with her expansive use of the photographic medium, these concerns make Lake an exemplary model for contemporary artists. Combining a deep knowledge of photographic conventions with strong personal convictions, she produces work that both inspires and provokes thought. Beauty at a Proper Distance/In Song (2001–2), for example, challenges notions of beauty and the aging body in a society that glorifies youth. Lake installed light boxes in public places depicting highly saturated close-up images of her face. In Performing Haute Couture (2014), she modeled high fashion designed for much younger models to celebrate her maturity and authority. In Reduced Performing (2008) she utilized the most sophisticated scanning technology available to scan the entire length of her body. The questions Lake raises are as relevant now, in the age of social media, as ever before.