Mythological stories reflect the vulnerabilities of human existence through the manipulations of superhuman beings and our work explores this notion of frailty by building on examples from past societies where myth supplied models for human behavior. Looking at legends through contemporary eyes, we are better able to understand how we continue to be as manipulated by our culture now as we were in the past.
telamon is based on the story of Medusa, Perseus and Atlas. Medusa was once a beautiful maiden whose hair was her chief glory, but as she dared to vie in beauty with Minerva, the goddess deprived her of her charms and changed her beautiful ringlets into hissing serpents. She became a cruel monster of so frightful an aspect that no living thing could behold her without being turned into stone. Perseus approached Medusa while she slept and, taking care not to look directly at her, looked at her reflection in the bright shield he bore and cut off her head.
Finally Perseus needed to rest and landed in the realm of King Atlas, whose bulk surpassed that of all other men. His chief pride was in his gardens whose fruit of gold hung from golden branches. Perseus asked to rest the evening however King Atlas had remembered a prophecy that warned him that a son of Jove should one day rob him of his golden apples. So he answered, “begone!”
Perseus turned his face away and held up the Gorgon’s head. Atlas, with all his bulk, was changed into stone. His beard and hair became forests, his arms and shoulders cliffs, his head a summit, and his bones rocks. Each part increased in bulk till he became a mountain (stars rest upon his shoulders).
telamon is a 3-channel video, synchronized so the images move through each channel. We use multiple camera views from a single instant in time to explore both the omni-directional nature of the 3d photographic image as well as the simultaneity inherent in the experience.
storyboard for telamon, 2008, pigment print, 11 prints, 9” x 34” each
click images to enlarge