THE BALLAD OF JUDITH
The Ballad of Judith is an ongoing research-based project inspired by the biblical character of Judith, the beautiful widow who kills Holofernes, the ruthless oppressor of her people. Throughout the history of European painting Judith has been often represented to such an extent that her story became a central motif during the Renaissance and Baroque periods.
Judith is a woman who kills a man for her men (her people) using her beauty and her ability to deceive, the only ‘weapons’ granted to women. Contrary to prior representations in art history, The Ballad of Judith restores Judith’s individual and personal autonomy, emancipating her from the role of a patriarchal worker.
The work’s multi-channel video installation challenge representations of Judith by exploring gender and sexuality, simultaneously rooted in a contemporary context of identity exploration and experimentation and a Neapolitan performative/pop culture one. Popular songs and opera arias underlie these tableaux vivants, creating a commentary on the proceedings. Additional installation elements entail a digitally manipulated intervention into Neapolitan folk tradition in the form of a separate single channel video and a textual adaptation of Judith’s story in the form of an invented ‘archival’ newspaper article. In an accompanying performance iteration, two female performers portray different versions of Judith: the illusionist, who, during her act, beheads one of the male audience members and the factory worker who sits mechanically peeling shrimp.
At present, The Ballad of Judith has taken three different forms.
The Ballad of Judith, part 1
3 channel video installation, sound, magic stone, "edicola sacra"
"All Condition", MFA Thesis show, Mason Gross Galleries, New Brunswick, NJ
February 22 - March 11, 2019
Young Sun Han
Special thanks to:
The Ballad of Judith, part 2
2 channels video installation, news paper article, shrimp head
"Like a day", 21 Ludlow St, New York, NY
April 27 – May 18, 2019
With Argyro Nicolaou & Mariangela Ciccarello
The Day After, May 3 2019
21 Ludlow St, New York, NY