CONCEPT AND CREATIVE PRODUCTION: Megan Steinman
INSTALLATION DESIGN: Jessica Fleishmann / still-room
VIDEO: Peter Kirby
FABRICATORS: Dane Johnson and Matt Nichols
Suzanne Lacy’s NO BLOOD NO FOUL AND THE OAKLAND YOUTH POLICY was part of the exhibition Citizen Culture: Artists and Architects Shape Policy, curated by Lucía Sanromán for the Santa Monica Museum of Art. The show later traveled to the Rubin Center for the Arts and the University of El Paso, Texas.
No Blood/No Foul is one of eight major works that comprise The Oakland Projects, Suzanne Lacy’s ten-year series of installations, performances and political activism created in collaboration with multiple artists, high school students, youth activists, educators, law enforcement agencies, and government officials in Oakland, California. It centered around a “basketball game as performance” between local youth and police officers at an upscale gym. The performance included pre-recorded and live video interviews by Oakland residents, dance crews, sports commentators, graffiti muralists, a hip-hop heavy sound track and audience participation. No Blood/No Foul received extensive television coverage and was attended by the mayor and city council who subsequently passed the Oakland Youth Policy Initiative and funded an ongoing youth-to-youth granting program.
For the Citizen Culture installation, Lacy wanted to create a space where audiences could experience the energy of the performance and understand the extensive political process behind the work simultaneously. A tall chain-link fence demarcated a half-court within the museum. Footage of the original game was shown via a large-scale projection, next to a series of "game banners" explaining the timeline of The Oakland Projects, including the process of developing, and substance of, the Oakland Youth Policy. Videos featuring teens, cops and politicians discussing their relationships to one another were presented on monitors positioned atop the fence. The LA Times called the installation “fascinating,” “intriguing,” and “essential viewing in the wake of the riots in Ferguson, MO.”
Images by Jeff McLane and Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging, both courtesy of the Santa Monica Museum of Art.