THE RAPE OF SABINE WOMEN
WITH EVE SUSSMANN _ RUFUS CORPORATION
80 Minute Video
The Rape of the Sabine Women, by New York-based Artist Eve Sussman and her international Company of Collaborators, The Rufus Corporation. The work was a video-musical inspired by the French neoclassical painter Jacques-Louis David’s masterpiece, The Intervention of the Sabine Women (1794-1799)
The Rape of the Sabine Women is a reinterpretation of the Roman myth, updated and set in the idealistic 1960’s. The Rape Of The Sabine Women was conceived as allegory based loosely on the ancient myth that follows Romulus‘ founding of Rome. Re-envisioning the myth as a 1960’s period piece with the Romans cast as G-men, the Sabines as butchers‘ daughters, and the heyday of Rome allegorically implied in an affluent international style summer house, this version is a riff on the original story of abduction and intervention, in which Romulus devises a plan to ensure the future of the empire. While the Roman myth traces the birth of a society, this telling suggests the destruction of a utopia. The intervention of the women is fraught, and the chaos that ensues transforms the designed perfection into nothingness.
The Rape… is a video-musical conceived in an operatic five act structure that opens in Berlin’s Pergamon Museum, moves to the S-Bahn and Tempelhof Airport, Athens‘ Agora meat market, a classic modern 60’s dream house overlooking the Aegean, and finally, Athens‘ Herodion Theatre. Forgoing the compromise of the original, the Rufus Corporation’s re-imagining pits mid-twentieth century ideals against the eternal themes of power, longing, and desire. A modern process piece created in improvisation-a product of 180 hours of video footage and 6000 photographs-the video with 7.1 sound installation features compositions by Jonathan Bepler, recorded live on site , incorporating a bouzouki ensemble, a Pergamon coughing choir, and a chorus of 800 voices.
Director: Eve Sussman & The Rufus Corporation
Filmed on Location in Athens and Hydra, Greece, and in Berlin, Germany
Original Score: Jonathan Bepler
Choreography: Claudie De Serpa Soares
Costumes: Karen Young
Camera: Sergy Franklin, Eve Sussman, Angela Christlieb
Nasher Museum, N.Y.