Eve Sussman and The Rufus Corporation
A Canadian premiere, The Rape of the Sabine Women (2006) proposes an interpretation of the roman legend of the abduction of the Sabine women, here re-set in the idyllic universe of the 1960s. Shot in Athens, Greece, on the Greek island of Hydra, and in Berlin, this video work was conceived as an audio-visual allegory of the mythic episode in Roman antiquity. The work refers to the iconic scene in art history, as depicted by Jacques-Louis David in 1799, and thus continues a solid reflection on the reconstruction of major pictorial works through video that Sussman began in 2004 with 89 Seconds at Alcázar.
Video production by Eve Sussman, Original music by Jonathan Bepler, Choreography by Claudie de Serpa Soares, and Costumes by Karen young.
Eve Sussman & The Rufus Corporation
Born in London, United Kingdom, in 1961
Lives and works in New-York, United States
Since the 1990s, Eve Sussman has been using video, film and installation to explore how the reality depicted in cinéma vérité intersects with the theatricality of fiction films. Spurred by an interest in the everyday micro-stories that emerge from group dynamics, Sussman directs our attention to specific gestures and expressions to suggest the presence of narratives. While How to Tell the Future from the Past (1997), Ornithology (1997) and Solace (2001) present images made to look like surveillance camera shots, the artist recently turned toward narrative video reconstructions of pictorial works from art history. In 2003, Sussman founded The Rufus Corporation, a collective of actors, dancers and musicians, together with a choreographer. Their collaboration produced the masterful 89 Seconds at Alcázar (2004), widely acclaimed when first presented at the Whitney Museum Biennale in 2004. It would, in fact, earn the group international recognition.This high-resolution video reinterprets Las Meninas (1656) by the Spanish painter Diego Velázquez. Imagining the painting as a film still, Sussman reconstructs the moments that would have preceded and followed the (enigmatic) scene portrayed by Velázquez. The painting thus became the point of departure for a narrative improvisation that developed through the non-verbal discourse of bodies in performance.With her most recent work, The Rape of the Sabine Women (2006), Sussman further develops this approach by updating, to 1960s Europe, the Roman myth painted by Jacques Louis David in 1799.