Friday, June 16, 2006

'The Rape of the Sabine Women' Will Preview at the Nasher Museum of Art

'The Rape of the Sabine Women' Will Preview at the Nasher Museum of Art: "The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University will present the preview exhibition of a new video, ?The Rape of the Sabine Women,? by Eve Sussman and her international company of collaborators, The Rufus Corporation, from July 6 through Sept. 24.

The new work is a video-musical inspired by the French neoclassical painter Jacques-Louis David?s masterpiece, ?The Intervention of the Sabine Women? (1794-1799), documenting the ancient Roman myth of abduction. It features choreography by Claudia de Serpa Soares, costuming by Karen Young and an original score by composer Jonathan Bepler.

The video, about one hour long, will be on a continuous loop on a large screen as the sole exhibition in one of the museum?s main galleries. The NasherMuseum is the first venue to preview the video, a work in progress that Sussman and The Rufus Corporation will continue to edit.

The Nasher Museum of Art is a major new arts center on Duke?s campus that serves the university, Research Triangle area and surrounding region with exhibitions and educational programs.

The Rufus Corporation?s sources for the project include contemporary news photography; paintings by David, Peter Paul Rubens and Nicolas Poussin; early modern architecture in Greece and Berlin; and experimental films of the 1960s. The video was shot on location in Greece and Germany.

?The Rape of the Sabine Women? is a modern process piece that pits the mid-20th-century ideal of ?better living through design? against such eternal themes as power, longing, aggression and desire. Months of improvisation went into creating a work in which the banality of a love triangle grows to epic proportions. Women and children ultimately intervene in a battle that develops from the modernist dream gone awry.

The final fight is staged at Herodion theatre in Athens. Five iconic locations (the PergamonMuseum and the TempelhofAirport in Berlin; the Athens Meat Market; a seaside home built in 1961 by the architect Nikos Valsamakis and the Herodion Theatre at the Acropolis) metaphorically echo classic, fascist and modernist themes behind the power struggles played out by the characters."
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