Bass Museum of Art presents Eve Sussman | Rufus Corporation

Bass Museum of Art presents Eve Sussman | Rufus Corporation on view until November 3, 2013.

Eve Sussman, Marilisa on the Floor, 2005. Digital c-print, 39 1/2 x 51 inches. Private collection of Richard J. Massey.

Eve Sussman, Marilisa on the Floor, 2005. Digital c-print, 39 1/2 x 51 inches. Private collection of Richard J. Massey.


The Bass Museum of Art is proud to present the exhibition Eve Sussman | Rufus Corporation. This exhibition presents two major video installations, including an entirely new exploration of her noted film The Rape of the Sabine Women. A feature-length video-musical, The Rape of the Sabine Women is a contemporary reinterpretation of the eponymous Roman legend. Presented in a traditional five-act operatic format set in the 1960s, each of the film’s acts takes place in different locations, including Berlin’s Pergamon Museum and Tempelhof Airport, Athens’ Agora meat market, a classic modern ’60s dream house overlooking the Aegean and Athens’ Herodion Theatre. For this exhibition, Sussman and her team have reedited the film, and is presenting it in a five-part installation, where each act of the film runs simultaneously in separate spaces.

Eve Sussman and editor Kevin Messman have re-imagined Rufus Corporation’s 2007 experimental feature film The Rape of the Sabine Women in a new iteration created specifically for the architecture of the Bass Museum of Art’s Gertrude Silverstone Muss Gallery. Taking advantage of the 100-foot length of the exhibition space, Sussman and Messman deconstructed the films original five-act structure (based around its five iconic locations: Pergamon Museum, Tempelhof Airport, Athens Meatmarket, Valsamakis House and Herodion Theatre) into five distinct looping installations rendered on 34 screens ranging in size and shape from tiny pocket projections to cinematic installations, including the final act—the disintegrating fight scene—culminating on a graveyard of 20 overturned televisions. The central installation is a four-sided rear-projection cube with screen doors that the audience can enter, built for Act IV of the drama “Better Homes and Gardens” and filmed in the modernist house overlooking the Aegean by renowned architect Nikos Valsamikis in 1961.

Also on view is Sussman’s 89 Seconds at Alcázar, a twelve-minute film based on Diego Velazquez’s enigmatic Las Meninas, 1656. In her work, Sussman uses film to elucidate the circumstances of the exact moment that the painting aims to portray. By using a 360-degree Steadicam, Sussman is able to probe the quotidian scene that has become immortalized in one of Western culture’s most-discussed paintings. In addition to these video works, Sussman presents photographic stills from these films—shot on location during the production by Ricoh Gerbl and Benedikt Partenhiemer—alongside historical portraits from the collection of the Bass Museum of Art.

Eve Sussman founded the Rufus Corporation in 2003. Along with Rape of the Sabine Women, 2007, and 89 Seconds at Alcázar, 2004, the company has collaborated on other projects including Yuri’s Office, 2009, and whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir, 2011. Rufus Corporation’s works have been exhibited and screened internationally and are included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Margulies Collection, Miami; Fundación La Caixa, Barcelona; and Centro Galego de Arte Contemporáneo, Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Eve Sussman’s work has been supported by numerous organizations including the Guggenhiem Foundation, NYSCA, NYFA, Anonymous was a Woman, and Creative Capital.

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