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The Wolf in Tempelhof from the film The Rape of the Sabine Women

© Eve Sussman and The Rufus Corporation. Photo by Benedikt Partenheimer.

The Wolf in Tempelhof from the film The Rape of the Sabine Women

Artist: Eve Sussman (born in London, England, 1961)
Culture: American; British
Date: 2005
Medium: Chromogenic print
39 1/2 x 49 inches (100.3 x 124.5 cm)
State: 3
Edition: 10 +2 AP
Classification: Photograph
Credit Line: Museum purchase
Label Text:This photographic still is from an early cut of the film Rape of the Sabine Women by Eve Sussman and the Rufus Corporation, presented at the Nasher Museum of Art in summer 2006. This work by Sussman's film company is a contemporary retelling of an ancient love triangle. It is loosely inspired by Jacques-Louis David's painting, Intervention of the Sabine Women (1794-99), and the ancient Roman myth on which that painting was based.

In the myth, Rome's first king, Romulus, invited the neighboring Sabines to a feast. Romulus and his men, who had no women of their own, used the feast as cover to abduct the Sabine women and carry them off to populate their new city. Several years later, the Sabine men gained enough strength to attack the Romans and rescue the captured women. The retaliation did not go according to plan, and the women defended the men who initially kidnapped them. The women put themselves and their young children in the middle of the fight as they begged fathers, brothers and former husbands to stop the attack on their new Roman husbands. In this modern twist, Sussman puts 1960s spy operatives in place of the Roman men, and she eliminates the return of a retaliating mob. Instead she depicts the main characters' eventual violent turn against one another.

In the The Wolf in Tempelhof, an early scene from the film, we see the men waiting, moving synchronically but without acknowledging each others' presence. They are isolated, their gazes never meeting, their loneliness apparent. A lone wolf walks through the scene, referencing the ancient legend of the Roman she-wolf associated with Romulus and Remus. This scene was shot at the Berlin Tempelhof airport's spacious terminal building.

Eve Sussman is the founder and creative director of The Rufus Corporation, an ensemble of performers, artists and musicians who collaborate on the creation of motion pictures, photographs and video art pieces. The collective includes the choreographer Claudia de Serpa Soares and the acclaimed composer Jonathan Bepler, who created the original score for the film.

Object number: 2006.11.1