Learn Where The Meat Comes From 
2011, Changing Channels: Art and Television 1963-1987
MUMOK, Vienna, Austria

The video portion of Learn Where The Meat Comes From (1976) was part of Changing Channels: Art and Television 1963-1987 at MUMOK in Vienna, Austria, which addressed artistic reflections on the use of the mass-media television from the 1960s to the 1980s. In addition, Lacy and Leslie Labowitz prepared a new set of documents to represent In Mourning and In Rage with a narrative constructed of newspapers from 1977 and The Hillside Strangler.

Learn Where The Meat Comes From was not performed for a live audience, but rather created for video and as a photographic series. Lacy, with a lamb carcass splayed on a chopping block in a beautifully crafted kitchen, goes through a serious of transformations, beginning as a television cook illustrating the parts of the lamb: “Innumerable housewives buy lamb year after year, often spending hundreds of dollars…Taking the time to learn where the meat comes from will ensure your constant success…If you’re willing to make yourself utterly ridiculous, you can learn the different cuts in just few minutes.”

As the voice-over monologue progresses, Lacy, false teeth on top of her own, resembles a lamb head with its skin peeled back. “Here’s what you do: get down on all fours and imagine you are a lamb. Try to imitate the movements a lamb would make and notice which muscles you use. Imagine you are a curious animal, often turning, lowering and raising your head…”

Again a metamorphosis, and this time Lacy’s teeth are plastic vampire versions of a carnivorous animal. Wrestling the carcass across the chopping block and onto the floor, the monologue continues: “Finally, move your tongue as in chewing, baaa-ing, or screaming: this can be baked, boiled, or pickled, and in lambs is a real delicacy:” (Text, thanks to Adele Davis, Julia Childs, and Jack La Lane).

2012, Indomitable Women, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain
2011, Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974-1981, The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles, CA
2008, California Video, The Getty Center, Los Angeles, CA


The video portion of Learn Where the Meat Comes From is distributed by Video Data Bank. The photographic series is available for exhibition and private collections. Please use the contact section on this site for more details.