The Rape of the Sabine Women

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The Rape of the Sabine Women Single Channel Video 83 Minute Feature Film © Courtesy of the artist & Haunch of Venison (New York)
The Rape of the Sabine Women

550 West 21St Street
New York, NY 10020
September 16th, 2010 - October 30th, 2010

+1 212 259 0000
10.00-18.00 Tue - Sat Or by appointment


Haunch of Venison is pleased to present Eve Sussman|Rufus Corporation's renowned film 'The Rape of the Sabine Women', which will run concurrently with an exhibition of the celebrated Australian artist Patricia Piccinini from September 16th through October 30th 2010.

'The Rape of the Sabine Women' will be presented in New York for the first time since its US premiere in 2007. Over the past three years the film has toured to festivals and exhibitions internationally, including shows in London, Berlin, Moscow, Athens, Melbourne and San Francisco.

Created with Rufus Corporation, the company Sussman founded in 2003, 'The Rape of the Sabine Women' is an 80-minute allegory loosely based on the myth of the founding of Rome, in which women from the neighboring Sabine tribe are kidnapped in order to propagate future generations of Romans. Rufus Corporation re-contextualizes the myth, setting it in the 1960s, casting the Sabine women as butcher's daughters and the Romans as G-men. The film, conceived in an operatic five act structure, is set in five locations with clear metaphorical, psychological and historical implications: the Pergamon museum, Tempelhof Airport, the Athens meat market, a Case-Study style modern summer house, and the Herodion Theatre where the final fight choreography culminates. The mid-century modernist context suggests the concept of 'better living through design', inevitably doomed by the chaos that lurks just beneath that promise.

"Throughout my work I have been investigating ways to imply narrative though gesture, psychological interactions and group dynamics" says Sussman whose newest project with Rufus Corporation, whiteonwhite:algorithmicthriller, a science fiction-noir - shot primarily in places where oil is plentiful and water is scarce - investigates similar ideas surrounding the quest for the perfect future. Concurrent with the new piece beginning to tour as a work-in-progress, 'The Rape of the Sabine Women' returns to New York City for its first major gallery run, giving audiences an opportunity to appreciate the underlying subjects common to both works - desire, power, utopia, and the loss of identity.

The Haunch of Venison gallery space on the 20th floor of Rockefeller Center will be altered to heighten the viewing experience and encourage viewers to embrace a theatrical film in which the narrative is communicated without language. Sussman explains: "We felt that the choreography and music circumvents and transcends language but in order to view a film of that nature people have to abandon preconceived notions." The installation design aims to induce that transformation.

Based in Brooklyn, Eve Sussman is an artist whose work incorporates film, video installation, sculpture and photography. In 2003 she formed Rufus Corporation, a ‘think tank’ of performers, artists, musicians, writers and programmers best known for creating 89 Seconds at Alcázar, The Rape of the Sabine Women, Yuri’s Office, and the experimental film currently in progress whiteonwhite:algorithmicthriller. Rufus Corporation projects have involved hundreds of people including: Claudine de Serpa Soares, Jonathan Bepler, Karen Young, Jeff Wood, Algis Antanas Kizys, and Kevin Messman. Their work has been exhibited in venues around the world: the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Reina Sofia in Madrid, the Louisiana Museum in Demark and the National Gallery in London, to name a few.