Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

Arts and Entertainment

'Suffragette City' Will Ring Out The Message Of Feminism In The Streets Of Westwood

suffragete_city.jpeg
Suffragette City when it was performed in Rheims, France at the FRAC Champagne-Ardenne. (Photo courtesy of Lara Schnitger and Anton Kern Gallery, New York)
Stories like these are only possible with your help!
Your donation today keeps LAist independent, ready to meet the needs of our city, and paywall free. Thank you for your partnership, we can't do this without you.

In light of the election of a certain card-carrying misogynist, "Suffragette City" will march through the streets of Westwood this Saturday and sound out a message of women's rights. The event is part of the Hammer Museum's "Bureau of Feminism" initiative, which, among other things, aims to challenge our normalized perceptions of gender and gender roles.

Technically, you could refer to "Suffragette City" as a performance. But in reality it's a little harder to define. Devised by artist Lara Schnitger, "Suffragette City" is a procession that marches through the streets, with participants bearing sculptures that are referred to as "Slut Sticks," which are constructed with lumber and articles of traditionally "female" clothing. These pieces aren't meant to convey the shapeliness of, say, a Botticelli. Rather, the sculptures look disjointed and misshapen, which seem to suggest that, underneath the clothing, there is something that extends beyond definition. The procession also feature quilts that display messages like "Don't Let The Boys Win" and "No=No".

5b29aa840161a1000dd5a2d5-original.jpg


Suffragette City when it was performed in Rheims, France at the FRAC Champagne-Ardenne. (Photo courtesy of Lara Schnitger and Anton Kern Gallery, New York)
In a talk with LA Review of Books, Schnitger said that the (often unjust) implications of clothing was part of what had inspired "Suffragette City":

Support for LAist comes from
A couple of years ago in Canada, a woman was raped and a man said something like, "Yeah, of course you got raped, you were wearing a little skirt or you were dressed like it." That of course made a huge uproar like, "No, we can dress however we want." So what happened during these protests is that the women go out into the streets in the most vulgar outfits, shouting, "No means no," like, whatever we're wearing does not give you permission to rape us. So that's what I connected with in the sculptures, making these female figures with as little as a couple of strings and bra pieces.

Schnitger wrote to LAist to say that, visually, the project also projects a message of inclusiveness among women. "'Suffragette City' is about embracing all women. Whether you have saggy boobs, or no boobs at all, if you're big, small, thick, thin, slutty, prudish. There's no right way to be a woman. Some of the sculptures are covered in hair, some have studs and chains," wrote Schnitger.

The two-day event will start at noon on Saturday, when the procession leaves the Hammer. The event's website has a map of the route. After the procession has returned to the Hammer, there'll be an open mic in which people can share their thoughts about Tuesday's election. There will also be a performance by musician Miya Folick. On Sunday, Schnitger will present a curated selection of art and film (including one on the Riot Grrrl movement). Amanda Yates Garcia, a noted practitioner of witchcraft, will also be there for a Q&A. Here's a full schedule of happenings.

This isn't the first time that Schnitger has put on the event. It was performed in Basel, Switzerland in 2015. Check out a short video of the procession:

Support for LAist comes from

The event was in the works before Tuesday's election, meaning that it will be performed under a much different climate than what some had been hoping for. It should also mean that, aside from a celebratory mood, there will be a prevailing sense of urgency about the event. "Leading up to the election, I had been thinking that 'Suffragette City' would be a celebration of the first woman being elected to the presidency of the United States," Schnitger wrote to LAist. "But now of course it's become much more of a protest. Even though this wasn't made for Trump, the way he's been talking about women has been so denigrating that it's really a time to speak out." She adds that "he isn't the first, and I don't think he'll be the last, to behave this way. This work is a response to the entire culture of patriarchy, not one person."

"Suffragette City" will start at noon at the Hammer Museum on Saturday. Admission to this program and all Hammer programs are free.