"For me, my work is a prayer, and so the doing of
the work is its own dignity."
-Liza Lou, Artist
Transforming familiar elements of everyday life into ecstatic real estate,
Liza Lou's sparkling Back Yard and Kitchen are monuments
to domesticity, suburbia, and the work accomplished in that arena called
home. Lou's meticulous beaded environments embody a simple and dignified
work ethic: finish the job you start, no matter how hard or overwhelming
seems the task. The Kitchen took five years to complete;the Back
Yard two. Kitchen and its painstaking creation parallels the untold lives
of those women who have toiled in the home for little or no recognition.
Its companion Back Yard is in Lou's words, the "permanently
perfect" lawn we view through the kitchen window while washing the
dishes. Lou's Back Yard and Kitchen testify to the power
of work to fulfill artistic vision.
Liza Lou understands that everyday life is paradoxically simple and complex.
It takes labor to enjoy leisure-a back yard picnic requires work in the
kitchen. By stopping time in a moment of simultaneous domestic perfection
and imperfection—notice the shining dustballs in the Kitchen
and the spilled beer in the Back Yard—Liza Lou, in a glittering
tsunami of empathy and solidarity, suggests how the domestic space embodies
our humanity: we are perfect and imperfect. Lou's monumental and overwhelming
act of love, dedication, artistry and even, in her word, "prayer,"
transfigures daily living. Back Yard and Kitchen show
us what Liza Lou already knew—that the ordinary is, indeed, extraordinary.