Cancer Notes (1991)

Lacy developed a seven-day performance to consider cancer, relationality, and death within the workings of a large cancer research hospital in upstate New York. Installed in a vacant room in a former children’s ward, Lacy met one person each hour, 8 hours a day, over a period of seven days to conduct interviews with patients, doctors, nurses, researchers and administrators of Roswell Memorial Hospital. With each interview she spontaneously recorded notes on observations and diagrammed connections that took the form of large drawings on newsprint paper. She made connections between personal and work lives, recorded individual histories and perspectives on cancer, and created a portrait of the workings of the hospital and its meanings through the eyes of its various populations. At the end of the week she produced a temporary installation of the diagrams and reconvened all participants for a discussion on their mutual observations and experiences. Lacy and graphic designer Leslie Becker documented the project as a graphic article.


Sponsored by Art Park in a project curated by David Katsive at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, New York