1998, 38 pp., 33 color illus., paperback
Essay by Lynne Cooke
The eyes are what the fingers claw
Knowing now what might have been
Will the lips tell what the eyes saw?
-Paul Bowles, Love Song
With highly visceral, map-like drawings, hypnotic video work, and voluptuous ceramic vessels, New York artist Katy Schimert draws forth the sensory experiences integral to the drama of Oedipus Rex and its timeless themes of self-awareness, desire, and destiny. In adapting the myth of Oedipus-which traditionally has been characterized in terms of masculinity and male identity-Schimert approaches the tale from the role of Oedipus' daughter/sister Antigone. For this work, which was commissioned by The Renaissance Society, Schimert used materials such as tin foil, string, and masking tape to assemble a stunning installation in which experientially disparate media came together to recreate the inexplicable beauty and charm of this powerful myth. Lynne Cooke, curator of the Dia Center for the Arts, writes beautifully and insightfully of Schimert's sensual artistic reprise of Sophocles' s tragic tale in terms of its expression of longing - specifically, the longing one experiences in a state of blindness.