SiteWorks: San Francisco performance 1969-85

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco War Memorial and Veteran's Building, 401 Van Ness Avenue, now San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center

Suzanne Lacy, International Dinner Party (14th March 1979)

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In another highly organized and publicized mass event, International Dinner Party, Lacy intermeshed the intimate character of early performance within a public setting. She contacted over a thousand women around the world by mail, asking them to arrange dinners in which women would eat together and honor women of their choice. These dinners were held simultaneously - the global time differences created a twenty-four hour sequence - on the evening of March 14, 1979, as part of the opening festivities surrounding the exhibition of Judy Chicago's The Dinner Party. Cables and telegrams bombarded the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. They were displayed there in binders: above them a large map of the world showed the sites of all the dinners. Even in the staccato language of cabled messages, the highly personal tenor of the event came through as, for example, in this cable from Athens: "In Greece women write their difficult story stop every day is hard work stop deepest appreciation for your movement stop." (Roth 1980: 93)

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