Dead Cat, exhibited at the Anderson Gallery in December 2019 was a continuation of the self-portraiture which began in My Grandmother was a Quaker. Here, Lydia began to re-evaluate a practice of near-obsessive self-reflection resulting from a mental health crisis, in terms of the problematics of narcissism. The installation incorporated self-portraiture in multiple forms, including a video of the artist from “Wholly-holey-holy,” printed 5”x7” images from the documentation of My Grandmother Was a Quaker, and new self-portraiture affixed to the floor and walls. This self-portraiture, instead of looking outward at the viewer, looks inward upon itself. By re-using imagery and objects, such as the monitor, stool, and photographs, from prior work, Lydia creates an affect of circularity, mirroring the circularity of disordered thought.
Revisiting the crisis which defined much of her creative output in the prior year, the title “Dead Cat,” refers to the true story of a stray cat which was found dead, and buried, with the help of a neighbor. This story is referenced in three 18”x24” charcoal drawings affixed to the top corner of a wall depicting Lydia, the dead cat, and the neighbor who buried it. The neighbor from these drawings was invited to the closing night performance, where both he and Lydia read from her writings, spoke aloud, and moved, and ultimately dismantled, objects which comprised the installation.