Carolyn Lazard


Crohn’s disease
Ankylosing Spondylitis
Graves’ disease

I am a disabled artist whose work is informed by my experience living with multiple autoimmune diseases. As a chronically ill person, I pass as able-­‐bodied. The invisible nature of my disability has led me to create work that engages constructions of legibility and visibility. My work begins with the impulse to document my life in biomedical purgatory. Chronic illness is often seen as a private matter or a hyper-­‐personal misfortune. It is rarely viewed as an experience  deeply embedded in structures of power and meaning. As such, documenting chronic illness destabilizes the separation of public and private spheres. I often shoot or perform in doctor’s offices or in my own home: spaces of extreme alienation or extreme domesticity are where I locate my disability. I like to turn these moments – medical procedures, administering medication, navigating medical bureaucracy, hospitalizations – into publicly consumable images or text. I’m interested in how popular forms, such as social media or certain cinematic genres like horror and science fiction, can be vehicles for experiencing intimacy. My work takes an experience that is often circumscribed to the realm of the private, and makes it visible and sometimes banal. I’m influenced by the aesthetics of doctor’s office art, narratives of healing and wellness, and crip time. I am also a founding member of Canaries, a healing and arts collective of chronically ill women and femmes. We meet monthly and produce works interdependently alongside our personal practices.

Fundamental to my work is the desire and necessity to work from my conditions in a manner that respects my body and the disability community of which I am a part.

Color where least expected
55 seconds

40 seconds

Improved Techniques (excerpt)
80 seconds

Get Well Soon
120 seconds