Conversation with Eve Sussman and Rare Showing of Excerpts from her Newly Released Film on October 10 at the Clark

For Immediate Release

September 21, 2006

It took two years, 800 extras, 25 main cast members, a supporting cast of 100, sites in Athens and Berlin, and inspiration from a Jacques-Louis David painting to produce the film/musical The Rape of the Sabine Women directed by video artist Eve Sussman, in collaboration with her international company, the Rufus Corporation. Discover how it all came together, and get a rare viewing of excerpts from the newly completed film, on Tuesday, October 10 at 5:30 pm. Sussman and five of the Rufus Corporation collaborators will visit the Clark for a conversation with Mark Ledbury, associate director of the Research and Academic Program at the Clark, and MASS MoCA curator Nato Thompson. “Art, Film, and Performance: Eve Sussman and the Rufus Corporation in Conversation,” presented in conjunction with the exhibition Ahistoric Occasion on view at MASS MoCA, is free and held in the Clark’s auditorium.

Thompson will introduce Sussman and the members of the Rufus Corporation, and discuss the film’s relationship to the exhibition Ahistoric Occasion. Ledbury will ask the group about the ideas, the inspirations, the filming, acting and the art of improvisation that together form The Rape of the Sabine Women. Sussman, in a rare event, will show and talk about selected excerpts from the film that will premiere at the Thesseloniki Film Festival in November and at the Hamburger Bahnhof-Berlin in January.

The Rufus Corporation’s Rape of the Sabine Women is inspired by David’s masterpiece Intervention of the Sabine Women (c. 1799), which illustrates the moment when the Sabine men mount a counter-attack to reclaim their stolen daughters. The Sabine women, who have assimilated and become wives and mothers, attempt to thwart the battle, throwing themselves into the fray to separate their opposing families from massacring each other. The Rufus Corporation draws on the ubiquitous themes of the myth: the intolerable loneliness that drives abduction and seduction and the sociological and emotional consequences of these actions.

On view through April 22, 2007, Ahistoric Occasion at MASS MoCA spotlights the growing interest in historic reenactment and revision in contemporary art.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday 10 am to 5 pm. Admission June 1 through October 31 is $10 for adults, free for children 18 and younger, members, and students with valid ID. Admission is free November through May. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.

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