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Elizabeth McClancy Artist, L.A.M. Creative Director
Look. At. Me. is built around the faces 12 individuals with intellectual disabilities. The selection will be representative of age, ethnicity, global culture, and manifestation of intellectual disability (Down’s-, Williams’-, Asperger’s-, and Charge-syndromes; autism, cerebral palsy, etc.).
Elizabeth McClancy – the faces in oil, canvas & text www.elizabethmcclancy.com
Michelle Jaffe – sound-sculpture www.michellejaffeart.com
Videographer (subject-specific video as part of the show) – to be discussed (TBD)
Documentarian (film of the artwork’s creation, implementation and outcomes) – TBD
Exhibition Venue(s): A neutral exhibition space, convenient to major art museums
Location(s): Initial debut, New york City. Subsequently, to major U.S. and international markets
Implementation Scope: Highly flexible; as many or as few partners as choose to participate
Social Change on Two Fronts
Exhibition attendees. By leveraging the power and rarefied space of visual art – and by incorporating research-based behavior-change stratgeies – L.A.M. is strategically designed to reconfigure the prevailing, mutually-isolating relationships.
Major museums will be invited to use the occasion of each opening to launch ongoing relationships with their regional intellectual disability communities.
The Artistic Director’s Vision
I think the clearest way to convey where we are headed with the Look. At. Me. series is to walk you through a recent conversation. I have a new and wonderful friend in Washington. Her 17-year-old daughter’s intellectual disability is compounded by a syndrome that also prevents her from seeing, hearing and swallowing. I recently asked her, ‘If we put an individual in front of a painting of her, what do they need to understand?’ This was her response.
“I have come to believe that these individuals are 90% divine. She doesn’t know People magazine; these guys don’t know self-consciousness or maneuvering for stature or the gross penalty for flaunting cultural norms. She and they are free of all that.”
She went on to explain that the power of these disabilities pulls one into that purer reality. “Engaged with a person with an intellectual disability, one’s self-consciousness; one’s need to establish stature and comply with established norms – all fall away. In the immediacy of this consecrated relationship, those concerns have no negotiable tender. To be with these people is to be instantly and necessarily unburdened of all that.
That was my moment of revelation. Simple, welcome, and profound. Compelling art creates a suspension where authentic self and beauty and truth can converse and reinforce each other. The crux of this series will undoubtedly shift with the revelations to come, but that is a true measure of the caliber of understanding we seek to facilitate.
Elizabeth McClancy, Artist and Artistic Director, 2013
Enduring social change through layers of encounter
The installation will provide a series of layered opportunities to dialogue through:
On site: During the visit to the exhibition, attendees will interact with each painting and a
strategically designed narrative by or about its subject.
Community Follow-up : The Look. At. Me. Customized Curriculum
Benefits to the ID Community• A simple, accessible reinforcement tool for families, communities and classrooms
• Translates the L.A.M. experience into the real-world setting to which it is to be applied
• Printed and online versions of curricular tools can be created
• Activities & learning components may be added later, as appropriate
• The L.A.M. Project's principal participating art-related institution (e.g. the internationally renowned Phillips Collection, at present) will leverage the launch of the Look. At. Me exhibition to pioneer a program to initiate/augment the relationship between the museum and the community’s I.D. population.
- A high-stature, shared resource to meet a fundamental, shared need;
- A top-tier, dynamic space in which to members of the ID community may hold events;
- A locus of contact for the ID community for both intra-organizational relationship and external systemic affect;
- Online $5 - $500 gifts encourage ownership, stature, and breadth of participation;
- The Project will seek Friend-level donations from persons with intellectual disabilities;
- The Concept is replicable (via fine art prints, training in curriculum, online, etc.).
- The Project will commit to hiring a person with disability as part of the planning staff
Look. At. Me. paintings by Elizabeth McClancy • sound & sculpture by Michelle Jaffe • galvanizing the greater I. D. Community • relationship enabling tools • an interactive online presence • on-site & follow-up curriculum • L. A. M. notecards, calendars, coffee-table book, etc. • potential for a L.A.M. documentary film • fine art prints of the paintings for traveling and/or satellite shows • curricular updates/ enhancements as indicated
Look. At. Me. is currently seeking major funding in the amount of $200,000 to build and exhibit the first installation, which will debut in 2016 in New York City. The fundraising drive will be launched in the summer of 2013. If you would like to stay informed about the Look. At. Me Project, please sign the Contact Form below.
Kairos: A Greek word meaning a moment in time that will never come again – because of (a) the integrity of the initiative in question, (b) the caliber of the people gathered together, and (c) the situational factors in place to accomplish what must be done.
This is such a moment.