Pew Fellow of the Week: An Interview with Visual Artist Lisa Marie Patzer


Pew Fellow Lisa Marie Patzer, Houses of Domestic Memory, Monk, light box, Da Vinci Art Alliance, 2020. Photo by the artist.

Our “Pew Fellow of the Week” series focuses on the artistic lives of our Pew Fellows: their aspirations, influences, and creative challenges.

Visual artist Lisa Marie Patzer (2019) spoke to us about how her practice and interests have evolved during the pandemic, the most useful piece of artistic advice she ever received, and her favorite “brain candy” for relaxing.

Patzer’s new media installations interrogate how emerging technologies—and the ideologies that inform their production—shape our lives and influence visual culture. Most recently, her work was included in the Da Vinci Art Alliance exhibition Philadelphia Forthcoming: The Endless Urban Portrait, part of Da Vinci Fest Live, on view online October 22–29, 2020. She also appeared recently on FringeArts’ Happy Hour on the Fringe podcast.

Lisa Marie Patzer Q&A Block 1

Lisa Marie Patzer Q&A Block 2

Lisa Marie Patzer Q&A Block 3

What piece of art has resonated most for you during the past several months? 

I recently watched an interview with [artist] William Kentridge hosted by the Arthur Ross Gallery at the University of Pennsylvania. I was struck by Kentridge’s framing of the racial injustice in the United States, recently under the spotlight after the murder of George Floyd, and his connecting it with the risk of losing the ability to breathe from COVID-19. He showed an animated ink drawing he did in an old book. In collaboration with The Centre for the Less Good Idea [a South African arts incubator], Kentridge created highway billboards displaying the words ‘Breathe’ and ‘Weigh All Tears’ for The Highway Notice Project.

I have also been thinking about John Akomfrah’s video installation Purple at the ICA Watershed in Boston, which I saw in person over Labor Day weekend, 2019. This was the last show I was able to travel out of state to see before the pandemic. This immersive six-channel video installation incorporates hundreds of hours of archival footage and newly shot film with a unique sound score to address the topic of climate change. In my last two projects, I’ve used archival material in different ways. A Reasonable Expectation of Privacy reenacted the 1967 Supreme Court case Katz vs. United States and subsequent Supreme Court cases dealing with technology and privacy, and Houses of Domestic Memory reanimates home-movie footage from the mid-1960s through collage. I am interested in exploring other techniques of archiveology to create larger work addressing contemporary issues from a historic lens.


Pew Fellow Lisa Marie Patzer, A Reasonable Expectation of Privacy, installation detail, Icebox Project Space, Crane Arts Gallery, 2018.

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