Lauren Woods

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Lauren Woods
Kansas City, Missouri
  • University of North Texas
  • MFA San Francisco Art Institute
Notable work
Dallas Drinking Fountain Project


(S)Port of San Francisco

Lauren Woods is an American artist who works with film, video, performance, and installation art that challenges the systems of oppression and power. She was raised in Dallas, Texas.[1] She is a visiting lecturer at Southern Methodist University.[2]

Woods holds undergraduate degrees from the University of North Texas and a 2006 Master of Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute.[2] Her site-specific installation A Dallas Drinking Fountain Project gained national attention.[3][4][5] Her artwork has been exhibited both across 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.[2]

A Dallas Drinking Fountain Project[edit]

Wood's launched A Dallas Drinking Fountain Project in 2013. The work is installed in a drinking fountain in the Dallas County Records Building. When the button to activate the water fountain is pressed a clip of Civil Rights era protests is projected onto the fountain. The user is then made aware of the faded remains of the Jim Crow 'Whites Only' sign that was discovered above the fountain in 2003.[6]

The work drew attention to the history of segregation through intervention in a common space, something not possible off-site or in a museum. [7] The work was both celebrated for initiating discussion and critiqued for Woods' choice of historical clips.[8]

The project has fueled perspectives on the debate on Confederate statues, suggesting the sites be made into collaborative art-making spaces so as to better confront and address the United State's history of segregation. [9]


(S)Port of San Francisco[edit]

In her single-channel video piece, (S)Port of San Francisco, woods creates an "ethno-fictive" study by turning her camera on white responses to an African-American dance group performance on the Embarcadero in San Francisco. <ref> In an interview, woods has said that her work examines whiteness "through the platform of 'The Black Body' which is really a product of white psyche." In (S)Port, she zooms in on particular faces in the audience, slows down the speed, and adds a nostalgic musical fragment seemingly lifted from a midcentury Hollywood soundtrack, all of which creates a surreal landscape superimposed on the everyday scene. Here, the viewer can examine manifestations of this white psyche--'real' and/or 'imagined'--in the audience members' body language, and perhaps in the viewer herself.


  1. ^ Hallock, Jeremy (15 September 2015). "10 Brilliant Dallas Women: Lauren Woods Uses Art to Tell the People's History of Dallas". Dallas Observer. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Lauren Woods, visiting lecturer, Southern Methodist University, retrieved 2018-02-24
  3. ^ "Experimental Documentaries: New Work by Lauren Woods & Amber Bemak". The Wild Detectives. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  4. ^ Escobedo, Lee (17 January 2018). "A Dallas Drinking Fountain: Interview with Lauren Woods". Temporary Art Review. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  5. ^ Bothwell, Anne (15 November 2013). "Friday Conversation: Artist Lauren Woods Turns A Public Drinking Fountain Into a Civil Rights Memorial". Art & Seek. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  6. ^ Nicholson, Eric (2013-08-30). "Dallas County Is Turning Its "White Only" Water Fountain Into a Multimedia Art Installation". Dallas Observer. Retrieved 2018-03-24.
  7. ^ "A Dallas Drinking Fountain: Interview with lauren woods | Temporary Art Review". Retrieved 2018-03-24.
  8. ^ "When Art Takes Bodies, Dead or Alive, in Pursuit of Truth". D Magazine. Retrieved 2018-03-24.
  9. ^ "Let's Turn Our Confederate Monuments Into Collaborative Art Spaces". D Magazine. Retrieved 2018-03-24.