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The Rape of the Sabine Women

July 06 – September 24, 2006
Production still from The Rape of the Sabine Women (Grayson Rises), 2005. Eve Sussman and The Rufus Corporation. Photo by Bobby Neel Adams.
Eve Sussman (center) and members of The Rufus Corporation arrive from Berlin and New York to install the new video, The Rape of the Sabine Women. Photo by Chris Hildreth for Duke Photography.
Eve Sussman (center) and members of The Rufus Corporation arrive from Berlin and New York to install the new video, The Rape of the Sabine Women. Photo by Chris Hildreth for Duke Photography.

The Nasher Museum presented the first cut of a new 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), with choreography by Claudia de Serpa Soares, costuming by Karen Young and featuring an original score by composer Jonathan Bepler.

The hourlong video was on view as a continuous loop on a large screen as the sole exhibition in one of the museum’s main galleries. The Nasher Museum purchased several still photographs from the video for the permanent collection.

The Rufus Corporation’s sources for the project included 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.

This new work followed The Rufus Corporation’s 89 Seconds at Alcázar, a video that meticulously creates the moments directly before and after the image portrayed by Diego Velásquez in Las Meninas (1656). 89 Seconds at Alcázar premiered to critical acclaim at the 2004 Whitney Biennial.

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