Whitney Biennial 2012

Solo en Inglès

Kids can hear directly from artists as they talk about the thoughts, processes, and ideas behind their work in the 2012 Whitney Biennial exhibition.

NARRATOR: Look closely at Elaine Reichek’s work. Do you notice that these are all embroidered? She is drawing with thread! Reicheck makes her works by hand or by using a digital sewing machine, combining the old practice of sewing with modern technology.

All of Reichek’s Biennial artwork is inspired by the ancient Greek myth of Ariadne, a mere mortal who also used thread to weave her exciting story.

Long ago in Greece, there lived a woman named Ariadne, who fell in love with a handsome warrior named Theseus. Theseus was sent to kill the Minotaur, a half-bull, half-man creature who lived at the center of the labyrinth. Ariadne helped Theseus by giving him a ball of string so that he could find his way out of the treacherous maze after killing the Minotaur. The two lovers then ran away together. While Ariadne was sleeping, Theseus sailed away, abandoning her on an island. Betrayed, she wept with fear and grief.

Reichek continues with Ariadne’s story:

ELAINE REICHEK: And then appears a handsome and courageous and fun loving Bacchus. He comes with his cymbals, and his dancing ladies, and his wine, and his animals. He comes in a beautiful chariot with—they haven’t figured out if it’s panthers or leopards, it’s really panthers, driving the chariot. He leaps out with this beautiful red cape, and he says to her, "What are you carrying on about this mortal? I'm a god. Get over it." And she says, literally, "Oh. Silly me. Why was I crying about him, Theseus, when I could have a god, and not only that I'm going to be immortal. I'm going to reside in the heavens. A big, starry crown and people will remember me forever."

You go, girl. You changed on a dime and got better.


Elaine Reichek (b. 1943), _Ariadne’s Lament_, 2009 (detail). Digital embroidery on linen, 27 1/2 x 26 1/2 in. (69.9 x 67.3 cm). Collection of the artist. © Elaine Reichek; courtesy the artist; Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York; and Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Santa Monica. Photograph by Paul Kennedy