RSS

Judith sets the stage

25 Feb

Isamu Noguchi, “Tent of Holofernes,” 1950, bronze, 108 x 109 x 54 in, Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California, US

Combine Martha Graham, founder of modern dance, with artist Isamu Noguchi – and you get stage sets.  Over the course of three decades, Noguchi designed about 20 sets for Graham, including the most famous Appalachian Spring (1944) and those for her series based on Greek myths as well as works revolving around biblical and religious themes, including Judith (1950).

Isamu Noguchi, “Tent of Holofernes,” 1950, bronze, 108 x 109 x 54 in, Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California, US

This form was created as a stage set for Judith, one of three bronze casts made from the balsawood original that appeared on stage.    Noguchi’s sculpture of four rigid bronze forms create a skeletal tent with two interlocking diagonal beams the serve as the tent’s opening and a single horizontal beam as the tent’s top edge.   This support was covered with a scarf during the performance of the dance.

Isamu Noguchi, “Tent of Holofernes,” 1950, bronze, 108 x 109 x 54 in, Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, Minneapolis, Minnesota, US

Symbolically, Noguchi used the ends of the forms to suggest the story.   The pointed tops suggest of spears of the Assyrian army – as well as Holofernes’ phallic desire for Judith.   The snake-like form of the diagonal – with a gaping mouth, sharp fangs, and bulging eyes – suggests danger lies within the tent. (1)

Apparently, Holofernes missed that cue.

(1) Getty Museum:  Tent of Holofernes

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 25, 2012 in Story

 

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: