Learn Where the Meat Comes From (1976)

This performance was created for video and as a photographic series. Lacy, with a lamb carcass splayed on a chopping block in a beautifully craft- ed kitchen, goes through a series of transformations, beginning as a television chef like Julia Childs 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 voiceover monologue and cooking lesson progress, Lacy, with false teeth on top of her own, starts to resemble 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 makes 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 become cheap plastic vampire teeth, as if she were a carnivorous animal. As she wrestles 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.” 

Produced by David Ross and directed by Hildegard Duane for the Southland Regional Video Anthology, curated by David Ross for the Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, California. Photos by Raul Vega.