International Dinner Party (1979)
Suzanne Lacy and Linda Pruess
This project was a simultaneous worldwide dinner happening created by Lacy and Pruess to publicize networks of personal, feminist and women’s development organizations around the globe on the eve of Judy Chicago’s first Dinner Party exhibition. The performance was designed as a tribute to Chicago, Lacy’s former teacher, to extend the concept of the dinner party globally, engaging women around the world in a simultaneous event honoring accomplished women in their own regions. Because of time differences, the work constituted a 24-hour performance and was documented by telegrams sent to the museum by over 200 groups. The location of each dinner was marked by Lacy with a red inverted triangle on a twenty-foot wide black and white map of the world, and the telegrams were displayed next to it. The project with its over 2000 participants from all parts of the world demonstrated the extent of feminist organizing in a pre-Internet era.
Held during the opening ceremonies of The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago, installed at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, California.
International Dinner Party is currently on view through 2015 as part of Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art, a traveling exhibition organized by the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art that presents the work of numerous artists who have all used the simple act of sharing food and drink to advance aesthetic goals and to foster critical engagement with the culture of their moment.