Paradise Now: Sappho in the Age of the Suicide Bomber
Paradise Now: sappho in the Age of the Suicide Bomber
Catalogue Text: This hand-embroidered mural celebrates iconic images of women from ancient and contemporary culture. Using vintage textiles, hand-weavings of silk and cotton against high-art canvas, the mural addresses my ancestors from Asia minor, Egypt and Greece -- murdered, expolited and exiled women -- and speaks equally to contemporary cultures east and west. Larger than life, the foreground icons gaze unabashedly, even radically, at the viewer, confronting the dominant gaze born out of millenia of male supremacy. These figures lift the veil that the more traditional figures in the background could not. The icons evoke the adorants and houris that were frescoed on the wet walls of sacred sites thousands of years ago. Whether draped or undressed, modest or brazen, pacific, erotic, or violent, these figures express the nomadic consciousness of women over millenia, the same millenia in which women have embroidered and woven for domestic use and private aesthetic pleasure. The background figures are ghosts haunting the provocative present, the dead of my people's violent past and living women in much of the world. The canvas that stitches the iconography together forms in my imagination a tent where the pop figure, the male fantasy, the lover, killer, and hopeless mother meet, even if they collide.