greer lankton at the mattress factory

Since graduate school I’ve wanted to see Greer Lankton’s It’s All About ME, Not You. The installation was first exhibited at the Mattress Factory in 1996 and became a permanent installation in 2009.

Lankton was born Greg in 1958 and, with the help of his minister father’s Presbyterian church, became female at 21. Lankton. Her dolls are her most powerful and personal work. In It’s All About ME, Lankton seems to recreate her Chicago studio, as evident by photos of the space taken by David Paul.

The installation is a bedroom, surmised by the bed where a morphine addicted dolls lies thin and weak. Many of the dolls and framed images reflect Lankton’s life as a transexual and drug addict. It’s dark and the viewer can’t enter the room; you must peer through the windows at the highly sexed dolls like a voyeur.

The installation is a retrospective of the artist and, in a way, a shrine to herself. Lankton died of a drug overdose soon after completing the installation. Check out The Blitz Kids and the Greer Lankton Archives Museum to learn more about this seemingly forgotten but amazing artist.

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