My professor Terry Adkins recently passed away and a fellow student made banners that hang in tribute at the art building. Yesterday as I was arriving at the building a man approached me and asked if I had any additional information about the banners. His name is Jamaaladeen Tacuma and he is a musician that has collaborated with Terry on different sound pieces and performances. We had a touching conversation about Terry and his influence on all of us. I’m amazed at the continuing experiences that I’m having because of Terry’s influence in my life and the people that I get to meet that worked with him.
Penelope is a recent installation from Tatiana Blass – the name for the exhibit is taken from Homer’s Odyssey. Penelope was Odysseus’ wife and she remained faithful for twenty years while he was away at war. To keep her suitors at bay, she kept herself busy for three years weaving a burial shroud for her father-in-law while secretly unweaving parts of it at night. She promised she would choose one when she was done but delayed it to remain faithful.
The exhibit was designed to fill the Chapel of Morumbi in São Paulo, Brazil, where Blass lives and works. Inside the chapel, a loom sits on the altar. One side has a long red carpet that leads to the door. On the other side of the loom, the chaotic strings of tangled red yarn continue through the holes of the chapel walls to the covered yard outside. The viewer is left to wonder if the piece is being woven or unraveled, like the story of Penelope goes.
Jeu de Paume, 2014, Joshua Mosley. "Jeu de Paume depicts a tennis match set in 1907 at the Chateau de Fontainebleau in France. Set in a five-meter long miniature reproduction of the Fontainebleau court as it stood before its renovation in 1990, the video employs irregular editing rhythms, shots that stray from the central gameplay, and floating, dance-like camera movements that capture, along with the players’ action, the slanting angles of the architecture, the play of sunlight, and the visibility of the white ball against the dark court. Acknowledging that one’s concentration, both as player and spectator, ebbs and flows over the course of a match, the camera similarly responds to this idiosyncratic focus and the particularities of the environment to capture a shifting sense of human awareness.”
I’m so proud to say that I have been taught by the man that made this work. It’s so great. It can be viewed at the Whitney Biennial 2014.
I really love this quote. And I think it is very useful when thinking about female characters in media.
The idea that we need to “make women stronger” is exactly the problem with the “Strong Female Character” trope.This idea that every single lady in a film must be a gun wielding, kung fu master assassin bad ass with a boy and arrow is fundamentally flawed.
Because, yes, we do need more female characters who can kick ass and take names.
But we also need narratives that focus on and empower female characters who are strong in other ways. You don’t need to make a dragon infested castle explode to be an empowered and empowering female character.