Henry Behind the Scenes: Circuit Training with Lacy Draper

Artist and recent UW MFA graduate Lacy Draper is offering an unusual experience at the Henry this weekend: an exercise series in which participants physically interact with our exhibitions.

Conditioning the Conditioned MFA Thesis Show by Lacy Draper
Lacy designed her MFA thesis show to fill the Henry’s unique architecture.
Photo by Lacy Draper
Conditioning the Conditioned MFA Thesis Show by Lacy Draper
Lacy’s sculpture was an interpretation of a strong man’s log as featured in her accompanying video piece at the MFA show.
Photo by Lacy Draper

Lacy came in last week to discuss the similarities and differences between the piece she showed the 2013 MFA + MDes Exhibition this past spring and her new interactive series Circuit Training.

Henry: Thanks for joining us, Lacy. Let’s start with your MFA Thesis, what is Conditioning the Conditioned?

Lacy:  The show featured video and sculpture using the specific architecture of the building. The relationship between instruction and construction, and the process in which it is filtered through in the form of performance serves as a stimulant for my work. I am drawn particularly to social construction; it’s routine conditioning to conform one to reality, which is also a manifestation of conditioning. The video portion focused on repetitive movements and how to reduce them as shown by myself and old footage of strongman competitions.

Henry: From my understanding, Circuit Training also makes use of repetitive movements as well, what is involved in the set-up of Circuit Training?

Lacy: For my MFA I created the experience to be left and experienced in the Henry over time. Circuit Training is a bit more intangible. No equipment to set-up or store. I am here in person to lead discussion and repetitive movement as a way to physically engage people in other artists’ exhibitions. It’s all a huge experiment.

Henry: Has this been very different for you than creating sculpture and video? What are the main differences?

Lacy: I have enjoyed making in this new way and am excited to see what’s next. Each week I choose a focus piece from each of the four main exhibitions. Then I select a repetitive movement that I feel represents the exhibition. At each of the exhibitions we spend a few minutes talking, then a few minutes repeating the motion.

Henry: What are you hoping people take away from this experience?

Lacy: How they document their experience in the space. How does their body feel and how did it affect their relationship to the art – do they blame David Hartt for being sore now? I want them to notice what’s happening in their body during the movement or maybe tomorrow if they are sore and say “That David Hartt was hard.”

Henry: It looks like you got your wish – we got this feedback already from Facebook:

Dudes… go check this out! Lacy’s workout is fun, thoughtful, creative, and leaves your body feeling more viscerally connected to the art work you view together. She invites you to experience and learn about the work in a more kinetic/embodied and deeper way.

Lacy: That’s great!

Henry: Thanks for joining us, Lacy, and we look forward to hearing more from attendees after this week’s session of Circuit Training.

Lacy: Thank you, Henry, for letting me experiment and having me back! I enjoy working with you.

Join Lacy this Sunday and experience Circuit Training for yourself! Sign up HERE.


Check out her other work on Flickr.

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