Liz Magic Laser, the New Avant-Garde?

As the commissioned artist for The Armory Show during the centennial anniversary of the original Armory Show exhibition, Liz Magic Laser has a giant pair of shoes to fill. Like her avant-garde predecessors, Laser is an innovator in her time, and will present work that celebrates the original exhibition as a place for public discovery.

“They were interested in manipulating emotion to produce critical thinkers,” Laser has said of the avant-garde artists. In the same vein, her own work—which is participatory and performance-oriented—confronts provocative and political topics to inspire a broader awareness. In I Feel Your Pain (2011, at right), Laser gathered dialogue from political figures, which she transformed into a scripted romantic drama. In a crowded movie theater, Laser’s actors recited lines adapted from interviews—quotes from such figures as Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Boehner, Sarah Palin, and Anthony Weiner—to explore the multifaceted role of emotion in politics. 

At right, see a six-minute excerpt of the 80-minute performance.