In Times of Perseus explores parallels between contemporary art practices and the myth of Perseus and Medusa. Whether finding analogies for art making in the story line or transvaluing its familiar symbolism, the featured artists tap into a zeitgeist full of venom, petrification, dazzling illusions, and weaponized reflections.
Hair weaves through the exhibition as filaments of expressivity. The aesthetic is electrified, fetishized, or symptomatic of social poison. Where Perseus’ shield became Medusa’s self-defeating mirror, here reflections obliterate the subject while eyes glisten and avoid contact. Transmutations into stone or into spectra suggest ways to escape the body, mind, or myth.
Sophie Landres is a curator, art historian, and professor in the Arts Administration program at Teachers College, Columbia University. She has a Ph.D. in Art History and Criticism from Stony Brook University, an M.F.A. in Art Criticism and Writing from the School of Visual Arts, and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Iowa. Sophie is currently completing a manuscript on how Charlotte Moorman and Nam June Paik adapted musical motifs to contest social and compositional control over performing bodies.