Lacy’s epic civic event THREE WEEKS IN MAY, stood at the forefront of a movement changing the way society viewed sexual violence.
— Cara Baldwin, Art In America, 2007



Los Angeles, CA., May 1977


THREE WEEKS IN MAY: Speaking Out On Rape, A Political Art Piece was created by Suzanne Lacy, the first in the series of large-scale public performances on violence against women. This work was the catalyst for the collaboration of Lacy and Labowitz leading to future production of like works under ARIADNE, extending its influence to Social Practice in the arts today.


The maps were the focus of activities that took place throughout the city during Three Weeks in May.

The two twenty-five foot yellow maps of the City of Los Angeles were installed in the City Mall, directly downstairs from the City Hall. On one, locations of rape reports received daily from the LA Police Department were marked, with a red-stenciled “RAPE.” To each actual reported incident, nine faint red “rape” demarcations were added. These represented the estimated number of assaults which are never reported. a second map revealed the names, phone numbers, and approximate locations of rape victims’ service centers, from hotlines to hospital emergency rooms.

View Facts About Rape


Lacy curated the participation of artists who played a big role throughout the three weeks,Artist joined forces with politicians and feminist activists to create the schedule of more than 30 events. City politicians called press conferences and attended opening and closing ceremonies. A rape speak-out, self defense demonstrations, and several lectures called attention to rape, violence in advertising and sexual abuse of children. Artists created a poster and several performance pieces that took place throughout the city – in the City Mall, in galleries, and private studios.


Performances By Artist

Suzanne Lacy + Melissa Hoffman + Phranc + Judith Loischild
Guerilla Action

Leslie Labowitz
Public Art Performances
The Myths of Rape
The Rape
All Men are Potential Rapists
Fighting Back

Suzanne Lacy
She Who Would Fly

Barbara Smith + Cheri Gaulke

Laurel Klick

Anne Gauldin + Melissa Hoffman
Breaking Silence

Conversations | Closing Ceremony

We did not move from theory, we moved quite simply… to the secret wounds, and in this sense, we were no longer ‘thinking’ in the way that Western man thinks, in the realm where thought is divided from feeling, and objectively is imagined to exist. We were discovering a different sense of clarity, one achieved through feeling, in which thought followed a direction determined by pain, and trauma, and compassion and outrage.

Yet these small changes in the doing of things were in themselves a feat. And they do herald more to come. Because the making of these small changes changed us. And these changes inside us were not small; we were profoundly different now than we had been before.
— Susan Griffen, Rape: The Power of Consciousness, 1979