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Annette with Rabbits (photographic still from The Rape of the Sabine Women)

© Eve Sussman and The Rufus Corporation

Annette with Rabbits (photographic still from The Rape of the Sabine Women)

Artist: Eve Sussman (born in London, England, 1961)
Culture: American; British
Date: 2005
Medium: Digital Chromogenic print
40 x 51 inches (101.6 x 129.5 cm)
State: 4
Edition: 10 +2 AP
Classification: Photograph
Credit Line: Museum purchase
Label Text:This is one of three photographic stills from the video Rape of the Sabine Women by Eve Sussman and the Rufus Corporation, presented at the Nasher Museum of Art in summer 2006. Set in 1960s Athens, the video is a contemporary retelling of an ancient love triangle, 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.

Annette and Rabbits is a still from the darkly lit, gritty and haunting Athens meat market, which is the site of the abductions. The scene was shot during the open hours of the operating market and we see real butchers cut, slice, and dole out slabs of meat, while abductions and seductions take place in shadowy corners. Later, the women are transformed from the type of modest market girl shown here to polished and fashionable 1960s trophy wives.

Object number: 2006.11.2