January 19 is the official launch of the Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival. But it’s already unofficially begun, not only with pre-festival events last night at LAXART and tonight at the Getty Center, but also with what promises to be one of the landmark performances of the festival.
This is the recreation of Suzanne Lacy’s Three Weeks in May, a provocative confrontation of violence against women first staged in May 1977. The reincarnation, entitled Three Weeks in January, centers on a Rape Map at the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters downtown, where rapes reported the previous day are stamped.
Three Weeks in January not only visually confronts the daily incidence of rape in Los Angeles, but also includes a sound-art piece featuring stories of survivors created by Bruno Louchouarn. The intent is to link the disturbing symbolism of the red, raw “RAPE” stamps on the map with the words of victims.
The three-week chronicle of sexual violence began on January 12 when Lacy joined mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LAPD chief Charlie Beck for a press conference, along with partners in CODEPINK, Peace Over Violence, and the Rape Treatment Center. In 1977 there was some cooperation by City hall and the LAPD, but this time around there is much more, as both now fully stand behind Lacy.
Spreading out in waves from the Rape Map, the project is also taking place across the city and the Web. Lacy and her team have partnered with L.A. nonprofits and schools to stage discussions with students, and the project will include several public discussions on how sexual violence is portrayed. A major component of the performance is taking place on Twitter, where you can participate by tweeting or retweeting “I know someone, do you? #RapeEndsHere” to raise awareness about the prevalence of sexual violence across the globe.
To get more involved, follow @3WeeksinJan and check out the project website, www.threeweeksinjanuary.org, where you can hear Louchouarn’s sound art, get instructions on holding your own performance, and find out about events near you.
Suzanne Lacy’s goal is no less than to help end rape in Los Angeles. Join your voice with hers by demanding that #RapeEndsHere.