Pew Fellow Carolyn Lazard, Carolyn Working, 2020; pen on paper, 11” × 14.” Image courtesy of the artist and Essex Street Gallery.
Carolyn Lazard, Pain Scale, 2019, adhesive decal. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Pew Fellow Carolyn Lazard, Support System (for Park, Tina, and Bob), 2016. Photo courtesy of the artist.
“My practice develops from the position that accessibility is not supplementary, but should be the very foundation and grounds for how we navigate the world.”
Carolyn Lazard is a visual artist whose sculptures, videos, installations, and performances center disability and accessibility. Their work appropriates existing video and objects—an approach Lazard describes as “the most disabled way of making,” as it relies on “the labor of others as a structural element of the work.” Lazard believes that disability is not a rare occurrence but rather one that every person experiences in some way, and the artist’s work employs that experience as a creative lens through which they imagine alternative modes of accessibility, labor, and care. In the 2016 piece Support System (for Park, Tina, and Bob), Lazard collected bouquets of flowers from audience members, using the bouquets as both the cost of admission to an intimate one-on-one performance and the materials to create a collaborative sculpture. Their 2017 video A Recipe for Disaster used the first program shown with captions on US television in 1972 to examine the terms of media accessibility. Their work has been shown nationally and internationally: in the 2019 Whitney Biennial and at venues such as the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; LUX, London; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and The Kitchen, New York City. Lazard holds an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania.