Medusa to stand before the courts. (Warning: Nude Female Statue Image)

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Medusa to stand before the courts. (Warning: Nude Female Statue Image)

Post by Tawmis » Tue Oct 13, 2020 7:17 pm

Medusa wrote: a 7-foot tall statue of Medusa holding the severed head of Perseus will be installed in Manhattan, across from the NY County Criminal Court, the location of high profile abuse cases including the recent Harvey Weinstein trial.

i never knew this before but Medusa was stalked & raped by Poseidon and then blamed for it, and cursed by Athena with the snake hair & turning people to stone thing. She was banished and then Perseus killed & beheaded her. This statue “inverts the narrative” as a commentary on the Me Too movement.

It will stand there until April. Look how badass this statue is

https://www.mwthproject.com/oct-2020
121068507_10157246713552471_5756120676222665252_n.jpg

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Re: Medusa to stand before the courts. (Warning: Nude Female Statue Image)

Post by Rath Darkblade » Wed Oct 14, 2020 6:42 am

Interesting. I reimagined and recreated the story of Perseus and Medusa a couple years ago. Naturally, I did my research and I'm well aware of Medusa's origins (i.e. the Poseidon angle).

Badass? I'm not sure. Looking at her facial features, she seems more weary and resigned to me, which makes sense. She's not a monster, but a victim of the gods, forces she cannot control or do anything about. She had to go on the run, away from people she might harm. And yet, would-be "heroes" still seek her out and want to do her harm. To me, it makes sense that she'd be tired and resigned -- along the lines of "Why don't you guys just leave me alone?!" :evil:

What's your view?

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Re: Medusa to stand before the courts. (Warning: Nude Female Statue Image)

Post by MusicallyInspired » Wed Oct 14, 2020 10:47 am

I don't see the logic in this. The point it's trying to make seems to be lost in the light of the actual mythology, isn't it? Is Perseus really the enemy? Is that what this is trying to say? Perhaps she should be carrying Athena's head instead? But then that probably wouldn't line up with the message they're trying to promote. Simply swapping the roles for the statue seems like an incredibly lazy and tone-deaf attempt to illicit a response from the lowest common denominator to me. "Men bad! How do you like it?" I don't have time for lazy outrage generalizations which is exactly all this image portrays to me. So, mission accomplished I guess if that's the point the artist was trying to make. If it wasn't, then the artist failed.
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Re: Medusa to stand before the courts. (Warning: Nude Female Statue Image)

Post by Tawmis » Wed Oct 14, 2020 12:20 pm

Well, the head SHOULD have been the head Posideon, since he was the one who raped her. But the article says:
Garbati wrote: Through this work, Garbati asks “how can a triumph be possible if you are defeating a victim?”
Which is how it's seen right? Perseus killed the monster. Hooray! Victory.

But no one cared that the monster he killed had been a victim of rape. They just see her as a monster.

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Re: Medusa to stand before the courts. (Warning: Nude Female Statue Image)

Post by MusicallyInspired » Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:20 pm

Yeah. But to get the point across properly it should have been the head of Poseidon, as you said. Of course, if it were then the layperson wouldn't get it. So they just opted to swap the characters of the pre-existing statue as a "turn the tables" sort of image. But the message that also sends as a result is "because one person raped her all men should suffer" for people who know the mythology. Or, they just assume that Perseus was the oppressor who raped her. Which is not true. That's why I call it lazy and tone-deaf. It just doesn't work.
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Re: Medusa to stand before the courts. (Warning: Nude Female Statue Image)

Post by DeadPoolX » Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:11 pm

Tawmis wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 12:20 pm
Well, the head SHOULD have been the head Posideon, since he was the one who raped her. But the article says:
Garbati wrote: Through this work, Garbati asks “how can a triumph be possible if you are defeating a victim?”
Which is how it's seen right? Perseus killed the monster. Hooray! Victory.

But no one cared that the monster he killed had been a victim of rape. They just see her as a monster.
Okay, but the point remains that Perseus wasn't responsible for Medusa's rape. Poseidon raped her and Athena "blamed the victim." This statue decidedly places the blame on Perseus, which isn't even necessary if they wanted to carry on with this whole "women good, men bad" ridiculousness because Poseidon was male.

And let's be honest here, the fact that Medusa was a rape victim does in no way give her a free pass to kill, which she did. I think that's something some of these people don't understand. Being the victim of one crime does not mean you can commit others. Seems pretty simple to me.
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Re: Medusa to stand before the courts. (Warning: Nude Female Statue Image)

Post by Tawmis » Thu Oct 15, 2020 12:53 am

I will address both of these.
MusicallyInspired wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 8:20 pm
Yeah. But to get the point across properly it should have been the head of Poseidon, as you said. Of course, if it were then the layperson wouldn't get it. So they just opted to swap the characters of the pre-existing statue as a "turn the tables" sort of image. But the message that also sends as a result is "because one person raped her all men should suffer" for people who know the mythology. Or, they just assume that Perseus was the oppressor who raped her. Which is not true. That's why I call it lazy and tone-deaf. It just doesn't work.
DeadPoolX wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 9:11 pm
Okay, but the point remains that Perseus wasn't responsible for Medusa's rape. Poseidon raped her and Athena "blamed the victim." This statue decidedly places the blame on Perseus, which isn't even necessary if they wanted to carry on with this whole "women good, men bad" ridiculousness because Poseidon was male.

And let's be honest here, the fact that Medusa was a rape victim does in no way give her a free pass to kill, which she did. I think that's something some of these people don't understand. Being the victim of one crime does not mean you can commit others. Seems pretty simple to me.
So, how I am taking this - it's a simple as - Poseidon raped Medusa. Then Poseidon and Athena conspired to have her killed.

This leads Perseus (innocent of the fact that he didn't know about the rape), out to cut her head off.

This is all normal mythology.

How I see it is as a What If... so it's all the same up to this point. But what if when Perseus came for Medusa's head, she won the fight, and in turn cut his head off (So it's not that she murdered Perseus, but rather, killed him in self defense) - and stands defiant against the very gods who conspired to have her killed (namely Poseidon, who could have had her killed, and his crime forever silenced).

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Re: Medusa to stand before the courts. (Warning: Nude Female Statue Image)

Post by MusicallyInspired » Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:38 am

Yeah, that makes for an interesting story for "what if". I agree. I like what if scenarios.

But in this instance, outside of the story, where this statue is using it and intentionally replacing the old one to send a message, it's the wrong message. And I think it's a very dangerous one. The average person isn't going to think as carefully about it as you just did. They're going to see it and go "Yeah, screw that guy. Show them, Medusa!" The blood of the innocent is not a message to send in a statue about a big controversy that's leading the western world right now. That's a recipe for disaster.

If the statue also somehow acknowledged the fact that he WAS innocent and it was a sad tragedy that was the result of it all that might be a different story. But then I don't know how that could possibly look and think it's highly unlikely that many would even pick up on that part of it. Or worse, complain about it.
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Re: Medusa to stand before the courts. (Warning: Nude Female Statue Image)

Post by Rath Darkblade » Thu Oct 15, 2020 3:05 am

Hmph. MI has some very good points here - the average person (who may or may not know the mythology) may just look at that statue and say "You go, girlfriend" or something equally ridiculous. Not to mention the "men bad, women good" ludicrousness that DPX pointed out.

MI, the only way that a statue could convey the sense of sad tragedy is -- perhaps -- if the statue portrayed both Perseus and Medusa standing up against Polydectes (the king of Seriphos, by whose decree the whole episode started) as well as Poseidon and Athena. (We might even add Zeus to Perseus's enemies. If it wasn't for the fact that Zeus impregnated Danae in the form of a golden shower -- now THERE is a euphemism if ever there was -- Perseus wouldn't even be born).

More generally ... I'm not sure what to make of the Me Too movement. Originally it had laudable aims, but at least one recent case (the one against Geoffrey Rush) was completely out of proportion to what he did or did not do. I'm glad he didn't lose the case, because the accusations against him (and lack of proof) were utterly absurd.

I'm not saying that every time a woman brings a sexual harassment case against a man, that "he's right, she's wrong, end of story". Definitely not. But in the past few years, it seems like every time a man is accused of sexual harassment, the media automatically takes the woman's side -- and if (as in Rush's case) the man is proved innocent, where can he to go and get his reputation back? :(

It reminds me of the Salem Witch Trials, as well as the McCarthyist Communism Trials of the late 40s and early-to-mid 50s.

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Re: Medusa to stand before the courts. (Warning: Nude Female Statue Image)

Post by Tawmis » Thu Oct 15, 2020 3:14 am

I consider myself the average person. Less than average, in most cases. :)

And the idea of adding Polydectes (who, I didn't even recall off hand and had to google) would only make people wonder even more. Medusa, by her snake hair is easily identifiable. The severed male head, could technically be anyone - except the artist notes it's Perseus' head.

And yes, people are people - and will seek to capitalize at every opportunity, as seen (and we discussed on the forum about Geoffrey Rush) - but false accusations shouldn't ruin a movement, just because of a few rotten apples. And as for the media, naturally the media sides with "the [supposed] victim" - because that makes for a better story. And honestly, enough women are probably victims more often than not, if you look at the numbers.

All that said - the statue is only going to stand for a brief time (less than a year, for that matter) - Medusa With The Head of Perseus will be on view from October 13, 2020 - April 30, 2021.

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Re: Medusa to stand before the courts. (Warning: Nude Female Statue Image)

Post by DeadPoolX » Thu Oct 15, 2020 3:34 am

Tawmis wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 12:53 am
How I see it is as a What If... so it's all the same up to this point. But what if when Perseus came for Medusa's head, she won the fight, and in turn cut his head off (So it's not that she murdered Perseus, but rather, killed him in self defense) - and stands defiant against the very gods who conspired to have her killed (namely Poseidon, who could have had her killed, and his crime forever silenced).
I've always liked "What If?" scenarios. I remember a Marvel comic book series called What If? and I believe the old DC Elseworlds line also toyed around with it. Plus, there's plenty of alternate history fiction out there.

I also like your scenario, but the problem is there's a lack of context for the average person. Very few people probably know much about Greek mythology today, and even fewer would put forth the sort of in-depth thought you did.
MusicallyInspired wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:38 am
They're going to see it and go "Yeah, screw that guy. Show them, Medusa!" The blood of the innocent is not a message to send in a statue about a big controversy that's leading the western world right now. That's a recipe for disaster.
It's telling that the artist specifically noted the #metoo movement as inspiration, so this isn't about an alternate take on Greek mythology, it's about promoting an agenda. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if this artist is using the #metoo movement purely as a way to advertise their work.

Make no mistake, the #metoo movement has done some good, but it's not the normal, rational people who're the problem and these are the ones who cause issues in society by hijacking a cause.
MusicallyInspired wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:38 am
If the statue also somehow acknowledged the fact that he WAS innocent and it was a sad tragedy that was the result of it all that might be a different story. But then I don't know how that could possibly look and think it's highly unlikely that many would even pick up on that part of it. Or worse, complain about it.
Honestly, I thought it was weird that Medusa was shown as human and not as a gorgan. You can barely even tell her hair is actually snakes.
Rath Darkblade wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 3:05 am
More generally ... I'm not sure what to make of the Me Too movement. Originally it had laudable aims, but at least one recent case (the one against Geoffrey Rush) was completely out of proportion to what he did or did not do. I'm glad he didn't lose the case, because the accusations against him (and lack of proof) were utterly absurd.
This is what happens when we give power to social media. I know it sounds all conspiracy theory-like, but the truth is that social media encourages a mob mentality, where the "court of public opinion" rules and doesn't need evidence.
Rath Darkblade wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 3:05 am
I'm not saying that every time a woman brings a sexual harassment case against a man, that "he's right, she's wrong, end of story". Definitely not. But in the past few years, it seems like every time a man is accused of sexual harassment, the media automatically takes the woman's side -- and if (as in Rush's case) the man is proved innocent, where can he to go and get his reputation back? :(
It's all about optics. What I mean is, individuals and companies are obsessed with promoting the image that they are progressive and care, when in reality it's probably nothing more than a facade for most.

And you can't regain your reputation. Whether or not the law finds you guilty, your career (and likely any semblance of a normal life given that social media and news coverage is global now) is over because the public will still want blood.

We like to think we're beyond public executions and mob lynchings, but we're not. People are just as aggressive, violent, bloodthirsty, and stupid as they've ever been. In recent years, I'd say it's even become worse because even the sickest freak will have friends who encourage them online.
Rath Darkblade wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 3:05 am
It reminds me of the Salem Witch Trials, as well as the McCarthyist Communism Trials of the late 40s and early-to-mid 50s.
These socio-political causes pretend to champion equal rights, but they act in a fascist and militant manner. Their belief system rests on the notion of "you're either with us or against us." In other words, they claim tolerance and expect it from others, but show none of it themselves.
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Re: Medusa to stand before the courts. (Warning: Nude Female Statue Image)

Post by Rath Darkblade » Thu Oct 15, 2020 4:05 am

DeadPoolX wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 3:34 am
I've always liked "What If?" scenarios.
You might like the "Perseus/Medusa" novel I wrote a couple of years ago, then. ;) I took the original story and followed it pretty faithfully, but with two exceptions:

1. Perseus must figure out where Medusa is by himself and get there by himself. No supernatural aid allowed.
AND
2. Medusa is not the monster from the original story. She's just as much a victim of the gods as Perseus is.

That allowed me to find every-day, prosaic solutions to what happens in the story - for instance:

- How does Perseus find Medusa?
- How does he get there?
- How do we explain the snake-hair, or the turn-to-stone abilities?
- What happens once he does?

The gods definitely take a back-seat here - it's all about what people were capable of doing, and how they did it. :)
DeadPoolX wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 3:34 am
Plus, there's plenty of alternate history fiction out there.
There is? :shock: That's news to me. I'm aware of the alternate-history fiction in MHQ (Military History Quarterly) magazine, and the alternate-ACW/alternate-WW2 novels that Harry Turtledove writes.

What kind of thing do you mean, DPX? I know there's lots and lots of alternate-history stuff, but some of it is clearly impossible (e.g. Aztecs with nukes, or Anglo-Saxons with tanks). :roll: I'm not interested in that kind of wish-fulfillment.

Are there people out there who write alt-history that could actually happen? (For instance, if Lee's famous Lost Order wasn't lost, or if the Roman Empire survived -- albeit in a reduced form -- what would happen next). I'd be interested to know! :)

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Re: Medusa to stand before the courts. (Warning: Nude Female Statue Image)

Post by Tawmis » Thu Oct 15, 2020 4:30 am

DeadPoolX wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 3:34 am
It's telling that the artist specifically noted the #metoo movement as inspiration, so this isn't about an alternate take on Greek mythology, it's about promoting an agenda. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if this artist is using the #metoo movement purely as a way to advertise their work.
Well, I thought the same so I'd done some digging before. Lemme find it...
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/13/arts ... attan.html
When the artist Luciano Garbati made his sculpture of Medusa holding Perseus’ severed head — an inversion of the centuries-old myth — feminism was not what he had in mind.

He wasn’t thinking of the #MeToo movement either: Mr. Garbati had created the work in 2008, nearly a decade before the movement went mainstream.

Mr. Garbati, an Argentine artist with Italian roots, was inspired by a 16th-century bronze: Benvenuto Cellini’s “Perseus With the Head of Medusa.” In that work, a nude Perseus holds up Medusa’s head by her snaky mane. Mr. Garbati conceived of a sculpture that could reverse that story, imagining it from Medusa’s perspective and revealing the woman behind the monster.
For reference: https://dam-13749.kxcdn.com/wp-content/ ... medusa.jpg

Thought this was interesting too...
Others wondered why, if the sculpture was intended to be about sexual violence, Medusa carried the head of Perseus and not Poseidon, her rapist. And some questioned the decision to depict Medusa as a lithe, classically beautiful nude figure when she was described as a monster.

Mr. Garbati said in an interview that, by now, his sculpture had a sort of independence from him, a life of its own created by outsiders’ observations and interpretations.

“I would say I am honored by the fact that the sculpture has been chosen as a symbol,” he said. He noted how the whole project had helped him realize that he was a “product of a patriarchal society” himself.

As for the question of mythological accuracy, Mr. Garbati said his work was a direct response to Cellini’s sculpture, which depicts the story of Perseus slaying Medusa and then using her severed head as a weapon, harnessing her power of turning people to stone with her stare.

Regarding Medusa’s model-esque figure, Mr. Garbati suggests that critics consider the literature from a recent exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that chronicles how artistic depictions of Medusa morphed from beastly to beautiful starting in the fifth century B.C.
And talk about an angry individual...
https://www.curbed.com/2020/10/medusa-s ... saltz.html

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Re: Medusa to stand before the courts. (Warning: Nude Female Statue Image)

Post by DeadPoolX » Thu Oct 15, 2020 12:30 pm

Rath Darkblade wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 4:05 am
DeadPoolX wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 3:34 am
Plus, there's plenty of alternate history fiction out there.
There is? :shock: That's news to me. I'm aware of the alternate-history fiction in MHQ (Military History Quarterly) magazine, and the alternate-ACW/alternate-WW2 novels that Harry Turtledove writes.

What kind of thing do you mean, DPX? I know there's lots and lots of alternate-history stuff, but some of it is clearly impossible (e.g. Aztecs with nukes, or Anglo-Saxons with tanks). :roll: I'm not interested in that kind of wish-fulfillment.

Are there people out there who write alt-history that could actually happen? (For instance, if Lee's famous Lost Order wasn't lost, or if the Roman Empire survived -- albeit in a reduced form -- what would happen next). I'd be interested to know! :)
I guess I should've clarified in that most alt-history that I know of is more about military conflicts (including Lee's lost order) since they shaped society to such a large degree, and yes, Harry Turtledove is one of — if not THE — major contributor to this genre. The situations described in these books could've happened, although there's definitely some creative license in places.

As for stuff you're not interested in... well, that's a preference thing and doesn't mean the genre isn't prolific in its own way.
Tawmis wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 4:30 am
DeadPoolX wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 3:34 am
It's telling that the artist specifically noted the #metoo movement as inspiration, so this isn't about an alternate take on Greek mythology, it's about promoting an agenda. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if this artist is using the #metoo movement purely as a way to advertise their work.
Well, I thought the same so I'd done some digging before. Lemme find it...
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/13/arts ... attan.html
When the artist Luciano Garbati made his sculpture of Medusa holding Perseus’ severed head — an inversion of the centuries-old myth — feminism was not what he had in mind.

He wasn’t thinking of the #MeToo movement either: Mr. Garbati had created the work in 2008, nearly a decade before the movement went mainstream.

Mr. Garbati, an Argentine artist with Italian roots, was inspired by a 16th-century bronze: Benvenuto Cellini’s “Perseus With the Head of Medusa.” In that work, a nude Perseus holds up Medusa’s head by her snaky mane. Mr. Garbati conceived of a sculpture that could reverse that story, imagining it from Medusa’s perspective and revealing the woman behind the monster.
For reference: https://dam-13749.kxcdn.com/wp-content/ ... medusa.jpg

Thought this was interesting too...
Others wondered why, if the sculpture was intended to be about sexual violence, Medusa carried the head of Perseus and not Poseidon, her rapist. And some questioned the decision to depict Medusa as a lithe, classically beautiful nude figure when she was described as a monster.

Mr. Garbati said in an interview that, by now, his sculpture had a sort of independence from him, a life of its own created by outsiders’ observations and interpretations.

“I would say I am honored by the fact that the sculpture has been chosen as a symbol,” he said. He noted how the whole project had helped him realize that he was a “product of a patriarchal society” himself.

As for the question of mythological accuracy, Mr. Garbati said his work was a direct response to Cellini’s sculpture, which depicts the story of Perseus slaying Medusa and then using her severed head as a weapon, harnessing her power of turning people to stone with her stare.

Regarding Medusa’s model-esque figure, Mr. Garbati suggests that critics consider the literature from a recent exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that chronicles how artistic depictions of Medusa morphed from beastly to beautiful starting in the fifth century B.C.
And talk about an angry individual...
https://www.curbed.com/2020/10/medusa-s ... saltz.html
Well, if the Internet can't harbor angry people with a soapbox, then what can it do? ;)

Those are good links, Tawmis. I'm not sure I entirely believe the artist (the timing and nature of the work does seem at least slightly suspect), but I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt for now. Also, it helps that this statue is there for a limited time and isn't intended to be a permanent exhibit.

It does seem odd that the artist used Greek mythology, which is extremely sexist in many ways, to illustrate his point. I realize he's putting his own spin on it, but there might've been other mythologies or at least other Greek mythological characters who'd work better. For instance, Penthesilea, who was the Amazon Queen during the Trojan War, was defeated in combat by Achilles, who then raped her.

I suppose Medusa is better known than Penthesilea (whom I'd never heard of myself until Maia told me about her, but Maia's area was archaeology and anthropology, specializing in Ancient Greece), but it'd be a good way to tell people about her.
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Re: Medusa to stand before the courts. (Warning: Nude Female Statue Image)

Post by Tawmis » Thu Oct 15, 2020 3:53 pm

DeadPoolX wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 12:30 pm
It does seem odd that the artist used Greek mythology, which is extremely sexist in many ways, to illustrate his point. I realize he's putting his own spin on it, but there might've been other mythologies or at least other Greek mythological characters who'd work better. For instance, Penthesilea, who was the Amazon Queen during the Trojan War, was defeated in combat by Achilles, who then raped her.
I suppose Medusa is better known than Penthesilea (whom I'd never heard of myself until Maia told me about her, but Maia's area was archaeology and anthropology, specializing in Ancient Greece), but it'd be a good way to tell people about her.
I would believe the artist in this case, because I am sure someone could easily step up and say, "He's lying. I commissioned him to do this statue in 2019." (Or whatever) If I had that kind of talent, I would have probably done something similar.

Yeah, I think that he used Medusa because Medusa is the more popular mythology and easily identifiable by her appearance. And that Medusa is a visual that everyone knows; where as Penthesilea would appear to be a normal woman holding Achilles' head (who also does not have anything specific in his appearance) - so it would look more like a woman holding a severed man's head.

It would have been more interesting, I think, had he shaped the statue in the same manner, of which was the inspiration - and have Medusa holding up Perseus' head.

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