lauren woods is a conceptual artist based in Dallas, Texas, whose hybrid media projects—film, video and sound installations, public interventions, and site-specific work—engage history as a lens by which to view the socio-politics of the present. Challenging the tradition of documentary/ethnography as objective, she creates ethno-fictive documents that investigate invisible dynamics in society, remixing memory and imagining other possibilities. She also explores how traditional monument-making can be translated into new contemporary models of commemoration with new media.
Woods is based in Dallas, and one of her better-known works is Drinking Fountain #1, a new media monument to the American civil rights movement, past and present activists/organizers, and the spirit of resistance. Located underneath the remnants of a recently rediscovered Jim Crow “White Only” sign in the Dallas County Records Building in Dallas, Texas, the installation is part sculpture, part intervention, and part of a larger public artwork, A Dallas Drinking Fountain Project. More information at adallasdrinkingfountain.com
After completion, Dallas Drinking Fountain #1 quickly became a gathering point for social justice groups like Mothers Against Police Brutality, and woods became a vital voice in Dallas on matters around confederate monuments, the city’s historically segregated public parks, and art in the public sphere. Recently, woods took part in the Nasher Prize Dialogues, a series of international events to engage the work of the annual Nasher Sculpture Prize Laureate, this year awarded to Theaster Gates. Woods has also been chosen to serve as the Dallas discussion leader for the upcoming Reading Monuments, a coalition of reading groups in southern US cities that deal with both the legacy and future of Confederate monuments.
Born in Kansas City, Mo. and raised in Texas, woods holds a B.A. in radio, television and film and a B.A. in Spanish with a sociology minor from the University of North Texas. In 2006, she received her Master of Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute. Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States and internationally, including Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Dallas and Miami, as well as Puerto Rico, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Mali and France. She has been the recipient of grants and awards from numerous institutions including the Creative Capital Foundation, The Tribeca Film Institute, College Art Association, Alliance of Artists Communities and The San Francisco Foundation.